The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) says visits to the Yorkton Regional Health Centre and the Yorkton and District Long Term Care Home will be severely restricted.
It comes as the SHA warns the public of an increased COVID-19 risk in Yorkton and the surrounding area.
"The decision to restrict family presence is not taken lightly. These measures are in place to keep you, your loved ones, and health care workers safe," SHA said in a news release Thursday morning.
Officials say the health centre and its emergency room remain open for anyone who needs medical care. Outdoor visits will still be permitted at the care home if deemed safe.
In a conference call with media Thursday, SHA CEO Scott Livingston said visits to the health centre and care home will remain limited until testing and contact tracing can be completed and the situation is deemed safe.
Livinstone and Dr. Saqib Shahab, chief medical health officer for Saskatchewan, reminded residents to follow public health measures. This includes physical distancing, hand washing and isolating if any symptoms develop.
Yorkton was already dealing with one of the highest per capita rates of COVID-19 in the province. Another five cases were announced Thursday in the central east region — where Yorkton is — more than any other region.
In addition to the health facility visitation restrictions, one of the high schools remains closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. An RCMP member also tested positive, leading to a reduction in non-emergency services as more than a dozen other officers and staff were ordered to isolate.
Shahab was asked if the recent criticisms of masks and other COVID-19 protocols by Yorkton Chamber of Commerce President Mike Stackhouse contributed to the outbreak. He said that in general, "it is difficult for everyone to practise all the steps that are so important," but that they are essential to contain the virus.
Shahab said there are more than 100 known contacts of the positive cases in Yorkton, so he expects more positive tests in the coming days.