The Saskatchewan Government has announced eight new cases of COVID-19 in the province, the lowest increase in a week.

The North Zone, which house Lloydminster and the surrounding area, now sits at 37 cases, with no hospitalizations and nine recoveries from the disease. Across the province, cases are now at 184 with four hospitalizations and 21 recoveries.

The province reminds people while this increase is lower, residents should still continue to maintain proper hygiene and physical distancing. They add that the longer people don’t follow these directions, the longer it will take to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

10,216 COVID-19 tests have been done in Saskatchewan so far, with 9,608 negative cases.

The Ministry of Social Services also announced Monday their Social Services Pandemic Response.  They hope it will help vulnerable citizens by adapting policies and allocating new resources.

Emergency Shelter Support

Ten organizations around the province, including the Lloydminster Men’s Shelter and Lighthouse North Battleford, will receive funding to reduce cost pressures. The cut of $171,000 in emergency money will be based on the amount of beds they have.

If emergency shelters can’t meet the need for a person or family due to capacity issues, Social Services will provide the funds for a hotel as they transition the person to emergency housing. This will also happen should someone need a place to self isolate.

They plan to use 1,700 vacant Saskatchewan Housing Corporation properties in larger communities and another 1,200 in smaller ones to make this happen.

Supports for families and the Youth-In-Care network

Social Services will also be adapting their children in care programs to help foster homes adapt to the COVID-19 situation. Kids that “age out” of care during the pandemic will not be transitioned out of their home for the time being and case workers will be in touch to make sure supports are still in place.

Front-line child protection workers will have access to Personal Protective Equipment, safe work guidelines and training to protect themselves and the children and families they work with. They will also keep direct contact interaction to minimum and have methods to weigh COVID-19 risk.

Families who receive the Child Care Subsidy with part time benefits will be bumped up to full time benefits retroactive to March 1st.

Changes to Housing and Income Benefits 

Applications for the new Saskatchewan Housing Benefit (SHB) will open April 1st. Delivered through the National Housing Strategy, will be available to people who:

  •  rent from a community housing provider, such as a non-profit housing provider or co-operative
  • pay more than 50 per cent of household income on rent and utilities
  • have incomes and assets below the program limits
  • are not receiving another government benefit to help with their housing/shelter costs.

The amount people receive through this benefit will be based on the required amount of bedrooms needed. Application forms and additional information will be available on the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation website.

People on Income Assistance will still receive their benefits, even if they’re late reporting.

Social Service offices will remain open, with the first hour of the day being reserved to people with disabilities or health issues.

They urge people to use digital or over the phone methods instead of visiting unless necessary. People can use the Social Services website or  or call the Client Service Centre at 1-866-221-5200.