2020 Juno Awards still on, despite first COVID-19-related death in Canada

As the risk to contract COVID-19 in Saskatoon remains low, the 2020 Juno Awards are expected to go ahead as planned.

This comes in the wake of Canada’s first death from the disease in B.C., and other event cancellations in the country and around the globe.

There have been no cases of COVID-19 reported in Saskatchewan, and between 50 and 70 people have been tested for the virus as of March 9.

The province, meanwhile, is providing advice on how to keep yourself healthy — just in case.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) warns that could change if the virus arrives.

“If we have an individual that didn’t travel outside of Saskatchewan and did test positive for coronavirus, that would be a shift,” explained Dr. Johnmark Opondo, medical health officer in Saskatoon.

For now, he says seeing a local case before the Juno Awards on Sunday is unlikely, but there are backup plans in place in case something does happen.

In the meantime, the SHA is suggesting keeping to yourself more than usual.

“We want to encourage social distancing during these kinds of events, things like greeting and handshakes, kissing and hugging,” he said.

“Avoid touching your face, wash your hands frequently.”

Opondo said there are even plans in case someone feels sick at the awards.

“If you develop symptoms of a runny nose or cold, identify yourself to the Juno organizers. They’ve prepared a strategy to respond and they will connect with us and we will safely manage that particular situation,” he said.

The province says it’s important for people to keep up normal hygiene like washing their hands. Residents are asked to check the provincial government’s website for updates on the virus in Saskatchewan.


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