In a press release released Tuesday, the Saskatchewan government said that a 50-year-old far north resident who had tested positive for the virus had died.
In addition, the cause of death of another person is under investigation. 650 CKOM learned that the case concerned a woman from Ile-à-la-Crosse who died on Monday.
“The death of COVID-19 must be confirmed by the medical officer of health to ensure that the case meets the criteria in order to be documented in the epidemiological declaration tools, before it can be made public by the ministry,” said the government press release.
The death announced Tuesday is the second in Saskatchewan in seven days. On May 20, the province reported that someone in their 60s had died in the north.
No new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Tuesday, which means the provincial total to date remains at 634.
This includes 252 cases in the far north, 167 in the Saskatoon region, 111 in the north, 76 in the Regina region, 16 in the south and 12 in the central region.
The total includes 361 community contacts, 141 travelers, 77 cases with no known exposure, and 55 who are still under investigation.
To date, 50 health workers have contracted the virus.
There were 226 cases in the 20 to 39 year age group, 193 between the ages of 40 and 59, 104 in the 60 to 79 age group, 93 involving 19 year olds and less and 18 in the 80s and -on age group.
Three more recoveries were announced on Tuesday, bringing the total to 549. There are currently 77 active cases in the province.
There are five people in the hospital, three of whom are in intensive care in Saskatoon. Two people (one in Regina and one in the north) receive hospital care.
268 tests were carried out on Monday, bringing the province’s total to date to 44,580.
The return of services in rural hospitals
The Saskatchewan Health Authority announced on Tuesday that it would begin reopening in mid-June rural emergency departments that had been temporarily converted to alternative care level sites in anticipation of possible flares in COVID-19 cases.
In a press release, SHA said it plans to reopen emergencies in Arcola first, with those of Kerrobert, Herbert, Preeceville, Davidson, Wolseley, Biggar, Leader and Oxbow to follow.
SHA said community hospitals in Broadview, Radville and Lanigan “will work to revert to levels of service from previous emergency departments as soon as it is sure it is done.” These facilities were experiencing service interruptions before the release of the SHA COVID-19 readiness plan in early April.
The authority and the provincial government had absorbed some criticism for the closure of the emergency room, including from a member of Prime Minister Scott Moe’s Saskatchewan Party.