Saskatchewan has faced its deadliest day of the COVID-19 pandemic yet, with 13 residents who tested positive for the novel coronavirus passing away, the province reported Thursday.
The previous single-day record for deaths was 11, set back in December.
Two of the additional deaths were reported in the North Central zone. Nine of the deceased were aged 80 or older, three were in their 70s and one was in their 60s.
Saskatchewan also recorded 816 new recoveries and 227 new cases Thursday.
Saskatoon led the new case count with 62, followed by Regina with 50 and North Central with 21.
Prince Albert accounted for 12 of the new cases Thursday. The city also reported a significant amount of recoveries, dropping the active case count from 212 to 130.
A total of 18,000 people have recovered province-wide. The active case count for Saskatchewan is now 3,099. The seven-day average of daily new cases Is 286, or 23.6 per 100,000 population.
There are 197 people in the hospital. Of those, 166 are receiving inpatient care and 31 are in intensive care. Outside of the Saskatoon and Regina zones, North Central has the highest number of active hospitalizations with 22, four of which are in the ICU.
While Saskatchewan continues to have the highest rate of active cases per capita in Canada, the province is also one of the nation’s leaders in vaccinations per capita.
As of Jan. 21, 91 per cent of the doses received have been administered in Saskatoon. Administration of the first dose has been completed for long term care homes in more than 40 communities, including Prince Albert.
The National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI) now recommends an extended time period between first and second doses of up to 42 days when operationally necessary. Previously, second doses were due between 21 and 28 days depending on the vaccine brand. Saskatchewan will move to the 42 day period where it needs to in order to deliver more first doses to eligible people.
Saskatchewan isn’t expecting any vaccine deliveries next week.
The most recent delivery was Tuesday when the province received 2,925 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. They are being distributed to priority populations in the Battlefords, Lloydminster, Regina and Fort Qu’Appelle.
The North Central zone has the highest number of first doses given outside of Saskatoon (6,872) and Regina (5,846) at 4,176.
Saskatoon and Regina are the only regions where some second doses have been administered.