The number of active cases of COVID-19 in the province has now decreased daily since April 7.

With 169 active cases reported this past Tuesday, that number dropped anywhere between four and 14 cases per day up to the Sask Health Authority's Sunday update:

  • 169 (April 7)
  • 165 (April 8)
  • 160 (April 9)
  • 146 (April 10)
  • 138 (April 11)
  • 130 (April 12)

That decrease of 39 active cases is certainly a positive, both the SHA and Government of Saskatchewan note, though one they say they still have to be cautiously optimistic about.

"We want to see more recoveries than new cases because that ensures that, we are not only keeping the curve flat, but we may at some point be confident in saying that we are at the other end of our very low curve," said Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab.

"Having said that, we have to be extremely cautious. I think we have to learn from the experience of other provinces in Canada and other other parts of the world, that it's maybe too early still to let our guard down."

As noted in Sunday's daily update, there have now been 164 recoveries from the virus. That number is more than half of the total number of cases (298), and continues to exceed that aforementioned number of active cases.

As well, the total number of deaths stands at four after one was reported on Saturday.

"We know that in many provinces, half the deaths have been due to outbreaks in long-term care facilities for example," said Shahab. "We have been fortunate through our measures, other steps, and in some cases maybe just good luck not to have had those outbreaks."

The province notes another step in that cautious optimism is taking a look at reducing restrictions, though Premier Scott Moe stresses there's no time frame for a decision like that at this time.

"The reason I would exercise caution with respect to the timing of that, is we are still fairly early in our curve," Moe said. "That being said, when we do get to a point where we can have that conversation, what we would look at doing is phasing in some lifting of those restrictions."

Moe said that any sort of phasing or reduction of restrictions would only happen once more readily-available testing methods and centres are at the disposal of residents in the province.

Upon having that system in place, Moe described what the initial talks of a reduction would look like.

"You would lift a number of restrictions and then sit and wait, and very actively test the public, and then watch your numbers - if there's any contact tracing - and then very actively watch what your numbers are doing relative to the weeks before leading up to the restrictions being lifted," he said. "If there's no significant increase in your numbers with those restrictions being lifted, then you could breathe a sigh of relief and start to look at potentially a next phase of restrictions to be lifted."

A reduction in restrictions would also need to ensure that vulnerable sectors or populations like those in long-term care were not put in danger.

"We are actively thinking about what that does look like. What we are not thinking about as of yet is what date that would actively begin," Moe stated.

The province's Chief Medical Health Officer reiterated that the he and the SHA are pleased with the progress that has been made, but they're far from comfortable just yet.

"There are several things that we need to continue to watch very closely, but so far I think we need to be very satisfied with the steps all of us - as residents of Saskatchewan - have taken to keep the curve as flat as possible," said Dr. Shahab.

Look for Monday's COVID-19 update from the Government of Saskatchewan and provincial health authority on Swift Current Online later this afternoon.