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Jim Reiter, Saskatchewan Minister of Health, looks on during an update on COVID-19 at the Legislative Building in Regina on Wednesday March 11, 2020.

Michael Bell/The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan is expanding its COVID-19 guidelines for those visiting long-term care homes.

Starting Tuesday, health officials say residents can have two family members or support persons for visits, with one person allowed in the facility at a time.

Patients in intensive care and those receiving palliative care can have two people present at the same time, as long as they keep physical distance.

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Visitors are expected to follow health-care guidelines, such as wearing masks, to protect others against the spread of COVID-19.

Premier Scott Moe says placing restrictions on visitors in hospitals, long-term care facilities and group homes has been tough to balance during the pandemic.

“We all know how important it is for patients in hospital and our parents and our grandparents in long-term care homes to have the support of their family,” he said at a press conference Friday.

“On the other hand, we also know that the most dangerous and deadly outbreaks in Canada and elsewhere have been in health facilities, in particular in seniors’ homes.”

Saskatchewan reported one new infection Friday in the far north region, bringing the province’s total number of cases to 796.

Four people are in hospital, 711 have recovered and 14 have died.

Provincial chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said that over the past week officials have seen new cases in Prince Albert, a city roughly 140 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

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He encouraged residents with mild symptoms to get tested and stay home if they feel ill.

In the interests of public health and safety, our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access. However, The Globe depends on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe to globeandmail.com. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

Your subscription helps The Globe and Mail provide readers with critical news at a critical time. Thank you for your continued support. We also hope you will share important coronavirus news articles with your friends and family. In the interest of public health and safety, all our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access.

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