SHA releases list of top 10 types of locations for community transmission of COVID-19 in Sask.

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The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has released a list of the top 10 sources for COVID-19 transmission in the community.

The list is specific to community transmission and excludes households and "close contacts," which the SHA says are the most common source of infection.

Twenty-five per cent of COVID-19 infections that have occurred in the community happened during recreation or at recreational facilities such as ice rinks, bingo halls, bowling alleys and casinos, according to the SHA.

The SHA said 17 per cent are from gatherings such as weddings, funerals, house parties, celebrations and break rooms.

Group homes, shelters and outreach programs accounted for 14 per cent of cases.

Another eight per cent are linked to educational institutions. The SHA said cases are more likely to occur in teachers and staff. Cases among students are more frequent in the 14 to 19 age group.

"Food service establishments" account for eight per cent of community transmission, but cases are most likely to occur among coworkers.

Seven per cent of cases are linked to long-term care, retirement and personal care homes, six per cent are from fitness centres and six per cent are linked to transportation and trades such as taxi drivers, medical taxis and meat-packing facilities.

Nightclubs account for five per cent of community transmission, while places of worship account for two per cent.

"The common risk factors in the above 10 sources is shared indoor airspace without masking, physical distancing and frequent hand hygiene," said the SHA news release.

It said Saskatchewan has high rates of community transmission with increasing case counts, active outbreak investigations, hospitalizations and deaths.

A COVID-19 modelling document released by the provincial government last week said the source of 2,190 cases was "pending" and had not been identified as of Nov. 19. It said the source of another 285 cases was "unknown."

Saskatchewan currently has the fourth-highest per capita case rate in Canada.

SHA's Top 10 community transmission venues

  • 1) Recreation/recreational facilities (e.g., ice rinks, bingo halls, bowling alleys, casinos) — 25 per cent.

  • 2) Gatherings (e.g., weddings, funerals, house parties, celebrations, break rooms) — 17 per cent.

  • 3) Group homes, shelters, outreach programs — 14 per cent.

  • 4) Educational institutions (cases more likely in teachers/staff; in students, test positivity is higher in 14 to 19 year olds) — eight per cent.

  • 5) Food services establishments (cases more likely among co-workers) — eight per cent.

  • 6) Long-term care, retirement and personal care homes — seven per cent.

  • 7) Fitness centres — six per cent.

  • 8) Transportation and trades (e.g., taxi drivers, medical taxis, meat packing facilities) — six per cent.

  • 9) Nightclubs — five per cent.

  • 10) Places of worship — two per cent.