Two deaths related to COVID-19 reported Saturday

(File photo/Jayda Taylor)

Saskatchewan health officials reported two new deaths related to COVID-19 on Saturday.

The deaths were in the Central East and North West zones and in the 40 to 49 and 80 plus age groups, respectively.

The number of deaths related to COVID-19 has risen to 464.

The province’s update arrived Saturday evening and according to the province the total provincial active cases and provincial recoveries plus regional breakdowns are unavailable for Saturday, April 17 due to a data reporting issue involving multiple case location reassignments.

On Saturday there were 10 cases reported in North Central, which includes Prince Albert.

This was among a total of 249 cases reported in the province. Regina led the province with 73 new cases reported.

As of April 16, North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 30 active cases. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 26 active cases and North Central 3 has 13 active cases.

Three cases that were found out of province were also added to North Central on Saturday.

There are currently 192 COVID-19 patients in hospital across the province. Of the 145 reported as receiving in patient care, seven are in North Central. Of the 47 people reported as being in intensive care, three  are in North Central.

The current seven-day average for new cases is 266, or 21.7 cases per 100,000 population. Due to the reporting issues active cases, recoveries and total cases since the beginning of the pandemic in the North are not available.

There were 3,643 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on April 16. As of April 17, there have been 724,868 COVID-19 tests performed in Saskatchewan.

There were 10,490 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in Saskatchewan bringing the total number of vaccines administered in the province to 334,063.

There were 1,133doses administered in the North Central Zone reported on Thursday. Doses were also administered in the adjacent North East, North West, Far North East, Far North West, Central West, Central East, South West, South East, South Central, Regina and Saskatoon.

There were 290 doses administered with zone of residence information pending.

In an effort to continue to protect residents as quickly as possible, the eligible age for booking vaccination appointments online or by telephone was lowered to 48 years starting at 8:00 a.m. Friday, April 16.

As well, the Ministry of Health has been informed of a reduction in the April 26 Moderna shipment. Saskatchewan’s allocation has been reduced by 47 per cent, from 35,800 doses to 18,800 doses.  The Ministry is working with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and Indigenous Services Canada to determine the potential impact this reduction could have on booked appointments, and the pharmacy vaccination pilot project, and will have an update in the coming days.

According to the province, 59 per cent of residents age 50 plus have received their first dose.

51 variants of concern identified in North Central

There are now 48 confirmed variants of concern (VOC) cases identified by the province in the North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert, as of April 17.

This was among 4,529 variants of concern identified by screening in Saskatchewan to date. Other regions with identified cases included Regina, Saskatoon, Far North East, Central West, Central East, South West, South Central and South East. There are currently 37 cases with area of residency pending.

There are now five variants identified in the adjacent North East zone.

Regina led the province with 2,792 identified VOCs.

These have previously been reported as “presumptive positives” but all screening test s will be considered confirmed VOCs for the purposes of public reporting and contact investigations.

There were no new lineage results reported today. Of the 1,703 VOCs with lineages identified by whole genome sequencing in Saskatchewan, 1,703 are B1.1.1.7 (UK) and nine are B1.351 (SA).

The Regina zone accounts for 1,294  (76 per cent) of the VOC cases with confirmed lineage reported in Saskatchewan.