Saskatchewan reports four more presumptive cases of COVID-19

REGINA — askatchewan has announced four more presumptive cases of COVID-19, bringing the province’s current total up to six.

The Ministry of Health announced the new cases late Saturday.

It says one of the people infected was a health care worker in their 30s who recently travelled to Nigeria, Germany and Alberta.

It says the individual is recovering in northern Saskatchewan.

Two of the people believed to have the virus are in their 40s and live in the same household in Regina, with one of them having travelled to a dental conference in Vancouver.

The ministry says they are in self-isolation.

The fourth patient is reported to be in their 20s and had travelled to Tennessee, but is recovering in their home community after being tested in Regina.

Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer is expected to speak to the new cases Sunday.

Meantime, the province's health authority restricted visitors at Saskatchewan Health Authority facilities. It says people in critical care or high acuity units in such facilities can only have one visitor at a time, and community and spiritual gatherings within SHA facilities will also be cancelled.

Staring Monday, events with more than 250 people will not be allowed, nor would events with more than 50 where someone in attendance had recently travelled internationally.

Like other provinces, Saskatchewan announced the restrictions in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the University of Regina has decided to cancel face-to-face classes for the rest of the semester over concerns about the spread of the virus.

The university says on its website that it is suspending all classes for several days before moving to distance education on Friday.

It says the four-day break will reduce the possibility of the novel coronavirus being spread on campuses and allow teaching staff to make arrangements to deliver courses online.

The university is still deciding on a way for students to take their final exams.

Also on Friday, the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon announced that it is also cancelling in-person classes following a four-day break.

Other universities across the country are taking similar steps.

"I wish to reassure students, faculty and staff that the university remains committed to their health and safety," said University of Regina vice-president academic Thomas Chase. "We are working to ensure students' continued progress through their academic programs in the current term."

This story by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2020.

The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the two cases in Saskatchewan had been confirmed by the Saskatchewan Health Authority