Moe says complacency is province’s ‘largest challenge’ in COVID-19 fight

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He attributed that success to people following health advice — like maintaining six feet of distance from people outside their households and wearing masks when necessary — “to a tee.”

SASKATOON, SK--September 14/2020 - 0915 news meep - Premier Scott Moe (right) re-announces provincial infrastructure funding, of which Saskatoon received over $30 million, as the provincial election campaign ramps up. Photo taken in Saskatoon, SK on Monday, September 14, 2020. (Saskatoon StarPhoenix/Michelle Berg)
Premier Scott Moe (right) at a news conference in Buena Vista Park in Saskatoon on Sept. 14. Photo by Michelle Berg /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

He also acknowledged the number of active cases is on the rise, including one incident reported Sunday in which six new cases in Saskatoon were tied to a single private gathering. Active cases in Saskatchewan’s largest city now total 43, more than any other region in the province.

On Monday, the government reported eight new cases of the virus in Saskatchewan, including six in Saskatoon. Active cases reached 103 compared to 58 one week ago. Three of those cases are in hospital in Saskatoon. The cumulative case total stands at 1,731. 

Three cases were removed from the total — one because it was declared a false positive and two others because they were determined to originate from outside the province. 

There are also new clusters of COVID-19 infections on Hutterite colonies, Moe said, after cases in those settings dipped at the end of August. The province reported that 36 of the 103 active cases are in those settings. 

Moe noted many “large spreader” incidents in March and April were tied to events like bonspiels and a snowmobile rally, as well as a barbecue hosted in Saskatoon earlier this summer, and expressed concern that similar events could occur this fall and winter if people forget or neglect to follow the rules. 

In Saskatchewan, guidelines allow gatherings of up to 30 people, but only if there’s enough room for six feet of distance between all participants. Groups can also form virtual households or “bubbles” of up to 15 people with whom they don’t need to follow those rules, but the groups have to remain consistent.