Two more COVID-19 deaths reported Wednesday

A nurse draws a dose from a vaccine vial in Prince Albert. Photo courtesy SHA.

Two more residents have died after testing positive for COVID-19.

The province reported Wednesday that a person over the age of 80 from the north west and someone in their 70s from the central east zone. In all, 562 Saskatchewan residents diagnosed with COVID-19 have died since the pandemic hit the province last March.

There are 92 people with COVID-19 in the hospital. Of those, 80 are receiving inpatient care and 12 are in the ICU. North Central has eight inpatient COVID patients and one COVID patient in the ICU.

There were 74 new cases reported Wednesday. The seven-day average of new cases is 72 per day, or 5.7 per 100,000 population.

Prince Albert currently has 35 active cases of COVID-19. Three of the north central’s five new cases reported Wednesday were in the city.

Currently, 726 cases of COVID-19 are considered active across Saskatchewan. The province reported lineage results for five new variants of concern Wednesday. Four were of the alpha (UK) variant and one was a Delta (Indian) variant.

An additional 12,013 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered Tuesday. Almost 10,000 of those new doses were second shots. In all, 69 per cent of the province’s population above the age of 18 has at least one dose in their arm. For the province’s third phase of reopening to occur, that needs to rise to 70 per cent. Phase three will remove most remaining public health orders, including restrictions on masking and gathering sizes.

Starting Thursday, all residents aged 45 or older will be eligible for their second dose of vaccine, as will anyone vaccinated on or before April 15.

While one dose of vaccine provides some protection against COVID-19, two doses are required for protection against some of the tougher variants, such as the Delta variant, which was first detected in India. Residents are asked to receive their second doses as soon as possible and to maintain all public health measures until two weeks have passed since their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccines will be available at the Senator Allen Bird Memorial Centre at a walk-in clinic set to run from 9 a.. until 5 p.m. Thursday. A fast track lane will be available for those getting their first dose of the vaccine.