It's the right time to release more detail about COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, according to a professor at the University of Saskatchewan department of community health and epidemiology.
Saskatchewan launched a new COVID-19 map with more detailed regional information about where positive cases are this week.
The main map is broken into 13 regions, then a second map goes into more detail with 32 sub-regions. The previous map had only six main regions.
Dr. Cory Neudorf said it is good to get more detail on cases, but it depends on the map's purpose.
Neudorf said it is a good tool for communicating general information about where new cases are, where hospitalizations are and how many active cases are in a region.
"The best picture that it gives right away is this context that shows that really it spread throughout the province," Neudorf said. "It, I guess, assures people that we need to be taking precautions all over still."
The province said its online health and wellness dashboard is being updated over the next few weeks to incorporate the new region boundaries.
Neudorf said if there are local outbreaks then it may be necessary to give more details within those 32 regions if it's in the public interest.
"I think the need for more detailed information will be very context specific as to whether we see localized outbreaks happening," he said.
Neudorf said there have been some efforts to warn the public — such as the Saskatchewan Health Authority advisories — but there has also been an increase in community transmission.
The province says that of the 1,376 cases in the province as of August 5, 205 are travelers, 703 are community contacts, 358 have no known exposures and 110 are under investigation by local public health officials.
The more detailed map could help justify stepping back the reopening plan in a specific region if necessary, Neudorf said. As well, if there is a second wave, where the cases are is important, he said.
"This little bit more nuanced picture is better," Neudorf said.
"This isn't something you can ignore just because it's vaguely represented as being in the southern half of the province or or in the northern half or something. We can clearly see from the map that there are cases scattered throughout."