Saskatchewan declares multi-community COVID-19 outbreak linked to gospel events

REGINA — The Saskatchewan Health Authority says it is investigating a community transmitted COVID-19 outbreak that involves contact tracing of more than 100 people across different parts of the province.

The agency says the outbreak is linked to a series of Full Gospel Outreach events in Prince Albert from Sept. 14 to last Sunday.

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Medical health officer Dr. Khami Chokani declared the outbreak Wednesday.

Doug Dahl, a health authority spokesman, said six people who attended the events have tested positive for COVID-19 and more positive test results are expected.

He said people from several communities have been identified as close contacts to the positive cases, including some First Nations.

"We have confirmed that six individuals who attended the Full Gospel Outreach events have tested positive since we became aware of the first case on Sunday, which was then connected to the Full Gospel Outreach events," Dahl wrote in an email.

"Additional contact tracing is underway and that number is expected to increase."

The authority did not identify the affected communities.

Health officials say that due to the number of positive cases that have been traced to these events, people who attended should self-isolate immediately until they can be assessed by their local public health unit.

Meanwhile, the province reported 10 new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 1,994.

The new cases are located in the Saskatoon, Central West, Central East, Regina and South East zones.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published October 7, 2020.

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