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City of Saskatoon and partners coordinate on COVID-19

For immediate release: March 12, 2020 - 2:01pm
FI20-1096

During this heightened awareness related to COVID-19, the City of Saskatoon is following the lead of Saskatchewan Heath Authority.  The City assures citizens it is in constant contact with our key stakeholders to coordinate all efforts to communicate important information, and to make any necessary adaptations to our plan to respond to the situation as it continues to change. 

“It is not about just one organization but this requires a team effort - a coordinated response of multiple organizations working together with our citizens to protect the health of our community”, says Pamela Goulden-McLeod, Director of Emergency Management, Saskatoon Fire Department.

EMO has been closely tracking the progress of the COVID-19 virus since January and actively preparing and assessing the impact and plans as the situation develops.  

In response to the news that there is a confirmed case in Saskatchewan, Saskatoon's Emergency Management Organization has raised its Emergency Operations Centre status to a level two. This means a regular teleconference with our key stakeholders, keeping our plan active, dynamic, and adjustable to respond in the best interest of public health and safety.

At a civic level, our plan includes continuing to share information with staff and patrons provided by Saskatchewan Health Authority, and taking appropriate precautions as needed which may include additional cleaning requirements, assessment of programs and provision of services.  

While the risk of acquiring COVID-19 in Saskatoon continues to be low, it is critical that residents be reminded to follow all of the recommendations from Saskatchewan Health Authority to take precautions to protect themselves.  Wash your hands frequently, practice good cough and sneeze hygiene and stay home if you are sick. Updated information on COVID-19, including questions and answers for the public are available on www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus.

As mentioned in an earlier news release, Saskatoon Fire Department currently has four staff members in self-isolation as a precaution. At 10:02 p.m. on March 11, 2020, one fire engine from Fire Station No. 4 responded to a medical call for a patient experiencing shortness of breath. It became known that the patient was to be tested for COVID-19. The self-isolation of the four attending members is a precautionary response. 

“SFD staff are following precautions based on a SFD Infectious Control Policy,” says Saskatoon Fire Chief, Morgan Hackl. “We continue to respond to emergency calls.”

“We would like to take the opportunity to remind citizens of Saskatoon to sign up for notifynow at saskatoon.ca/notifynow,” says Pamela Goulden-McLeod, “so that if our emergency planning area needs to get public safety messages out in a timely, trusted, and targeted manner, our citizens are receiving those messages in whichever way is going to reach them right away.”

“You can choose how to receive those messages when you sign up via a voice message to your home, work, or cell phone, by email, or a text message,” adds Goulden-McLeod, “and just as important, you can also add family member’s addresses, such as your child’s school or parents’ home, through the customization tools.”

We know there are a lot of questions from Saskatoon citizens, but we are focused on where we are now, which is still at a low risk with one confirmed case in Saskatchewan who is self-isolated at home. We are committed to providing information and updates to the citizens of Saskatoon when we have new information to share.

We appreciate your cooperation, and diligence with caring for yourselves and the health of our community, as this is a team effort.