Cases, hospitalizations continue to decline in COVID-19 weekly report

Graphic courtesy HFCM Communicatie, via Wikimedia This is a representation of what the Covid-19 virus would look like under a powerful microscope.

The weekly COVID-19 integrated epidemiological (EPI) report showed a decrease in hospitalizations related to COVID-19 continue to decline. Numbers were reported between May 15 to May 21.

There were also 12 deaths reported over this time, a decrease of 10 over the previous report. Three of those deaths occurred prior to April 29, but were not reported as COVID deaths until the following week. The remaining 16 deaths occurred between May 8 to 14.

North Central reported no COVID deaths during this period.

There were two deaths each reported in the adjacent North East, Central East and South East zones, four in Saskatoon and one each in Regina and South Central.

Of these there were eight reported in the 80 or older age group and two each were reported in the 40 to 59 and 60 to 69 age groups. Of these four were female and eight were male.

The report shows 258 COVID-19 hospitalizations, a decrease of 12 from last week. There were 10 individuals reported in the ICU, a decrease of four over the previous week.

Of these 90 were COVID-19 related illness, 150 were incidental COVID-19 infections and18 patients were under investigation.

Overall in Saskatchewan, the rates of COVID-19 hospitalization, ICU admission and deaths are higher among people who are unvaccinated than among people with two or three vaccinations.

In each age group, rates of hospitalization, ICU admission and death are higher among unvaccinated individuals compared to those who have received two or three doses.

Lower rates of severe outcomes in the three dose group compared to the two dose group are suggestive of the added benefits of the booster dose.

The predominant variant during the observation period was Omicron, an indication that being fully vaccinated and boosted provides protection against the Omicron variant.

Unvaccinated people were about seven times more likely to die than people who were vaccinated with three doses when adjusted for age.

The province also reported 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Central from May 15 to May 21.

This was among 376 total cases confirmed in the province. These are only lab confirmed cases and not rapid antigen test confirmed cases.

The 376 new cases were confirmed reflecting about 0.3 laboratory-confirmed cases per 1,000 population.

The Saskatoon Zone led the province with 119 new cases.

The highest proportion of new cases for the week was in the South Central zone, at 0.5 per 1,000 population. The lowest proportion was in the Far North West at 0.1 per 1,000 population.

The proportion of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 0.3 per 1,000 population, 0.1 lower than last week.

The province warns that rates should be interpreted with caution because they do not include cases detected by home rapid-antigen test kits.

There were 344 variants of concern (VOCs) reported during the week of May 8 to May 14 compared to 265 in the previous report.

Of the total VOCs reported in the past two weeks, 100 per cent were the Omicron VOCs.

As well, 87.8 per cent of Omicron VOC were of sublineage BA.2 which was a increase ove rthe 70.9 per cent reported last week.

The province also reported five new outbreaks in Long Term Care, care homes and personal care homes. There were no new outbreaks reported in the North Central zone in the reporting period.

Of these, three outbreaks were reported in long term care facilities. Outbreaks occurred in two personal care homes.

As of May 21, Of the population five years and older, 81.0 per cent completed a series, similar to the previous week.

Among the population 18 years and older, 52.4 per cent had received at least one booster, similar to the previous week.

During the week of May 15 to 21, 11,494 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered, of which 255 were pediatric doses and 10,910 were booster doses.