Saskatchewan health officials reported two new deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday.
One death was reported in the 70 to 79 age group in the Far North East and the other was in the 80 plus age group in the North West.
The number of deaths in Saskatchewan related to COVID-19 currently sits at 524.
The province reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 in North Central, which includes Prince Albert, on Friday.
In the province there was a total of 129 new cases reported. Saskatoon led the province with 52 new cases reported.
North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 73 active cases. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 23 active cases and North Central 3 has 36 active cases.
One case tested out of province has been added to the North Central zone.
There are currently 132 COVID-19 patients in hospital across the province. Of the 107 reported as receiving in patient care, there are seven in North Central. Of the 25 people reported as being in intensive care, there are two in North Central.
The current seven-day average for new cases is 162, or 13.2 cases per 100,000 population. Of the 45,310 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, 1,776 are considered active.
Another 189 recoveries were reported on Friday, bringing the total number of recoveries to 43,010.
Since the start of the pandemic, 9,946 cases are from the North area (4,291 North West, 4,135 North Central and 1,520 North East).
There were 3,331 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on May 19.
As of today there have been 837,028 COVID-19 tests performed in Saskatchewan.
There were 10,347 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in Saskatchewan bringing the total number of vaccines administered in the province to 630,583.
There were 767 doses administered in the North Central zone reported on Thursday. Doses were also administered in the adjacent North East, North West, Far North Central, Far North East, Far North Central, Central West, Central East, South Central, South East, South West, Regina and Saskatoon.
There were 243 doses administered with zone of residence pending.
According to the province, 75 per cent of residents over the age of 40, 69 per cent of those 30 plus and 61 per cent of those 18 plus have received their first dose.
Eligibility in the provincial age-based immunization program expanded Thursday to age 12 and older. The province said this achieves the last step in Saskatchewan’s age-based first dose immunization program.
347 total variants of concern identified in North Central
There are now 335 confirmed variants of concern (VOC) cases identified by the province in the North Central zone, as of May 20.
This was among 9,820 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 59 cases with area of residency pending.
There are now 56 VOCs identified in the adjacent North East.
Regina led the province with 4,498 identified VOCs.
There were 208 new lineage results reported today. Of the 5,056 VOCs with lineages identified by whole genome sequencing in Saskatchewan, 4,936 are B.188.8.131.52 (UK), 10 are B.1.351 (SA), 98 are P.1. (Brazilian) and 12 are B.1.617 (Indian).
The B.1.617 (Indian) was identified in North Central last Friday.
35 active cases of COVID-19 in youth in North Central
On Thursday the province released the updated numbers on COVID-19 cases in youth. The total active cases in youth provincially in all locations are 601. Three have no known location and 598 have a location reported.
The province releases the update on the numbers each Thursday.
Currently in the North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert, there are 35 active cases in youth. Last week there were 338 tests performed across the North Central zone.
North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has six active cases in youth.
North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 10 active cases and North Central 3 has 19 active cases.
Cumulative tests performed since Sept. 7, 2020 in the North Central zone is 8,447.
Provincially there is a 7.1 per cent test positivity rate in youth.
There were 5,583 tests performed in total in the province in the last week.
The cumulative number of tests performed since Sept. 7, 2020 is 129,643.
Increased risk of COVID-19 exposure in Shellbrook
On Friday afternoon the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) that there is an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 where a person or persons attended while infectious at the Shellbook Dairy Queen at the intersection of Highway 3 and Highway 55.
The dates of exposure were May 7 from 4 to 9 p.m., May 8 from 4 to 9:30 p.m., May 9 from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., May 10 from 5 to 9 p.m., May 14 from 4 to 9 p.m and May 16 from 3 to 7:30 p.m.
The notice added that individuals who were at this location during the specified times must immediately self-isolate for 14 days following the date of exposure. Call HealthLine 811, your physician or nurse practitioner if you develop symptoms; you may develop symptoms from two to 14 days following exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.