COVID-19 cases and hospitalization increasing in province according to 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 COVID-19 integrated epidemiological (EPI) report released on Thursday showed a trend of increases in hospitalizations related to COVID-19, as well as in overall cases.

The total shows case numbers reported from July 17 to Aug. 13. This marks the province’s final transition to the monthly reporting cycle.

COVID-19 activity is increasing in the province of Saskatchewan. Compared to the previous reporting period, test positivity increased from four to seven per cent. Central East and Saskatoon have the highest test positivity at 10 per cent.

There were 27 deaths reported over this time.

The province has also changed the way the report is delivered so comparisons to previous weekly reports are not easily reflected.

It is not known how many deaths occurred in North Central over this time period. The majority of the deaths were in the 60 plus age group according to a graph in the report.

The report shows 488 hospital admissions, which is 122 per week, and 27 ICU admissions, which is seven per week.

There were 1,524 total cases confirmed in the province during the reporting period, an average of 381 per week. These are only lab confirmed cases and not rapid antigen test confirmed cases.

The most recent report showed a test positivity rate of 7.4. The previous report showed 4.0.

Test positivity in North Central is greater than or equal to 5.0. Every region except Far North East has that test positivity rate. Far North East has a test positivity rate of 2.6 to 4.9.

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

The Omicron sublineages BA.4/BA.5 are now the dominant sublineages detected in Saskatchewan. BA.4 and BA.5 have increased from 3.6 percent (June 19-25) to 65.6 per cent (June 26-July 16) to currently greater than 90 per cent of detections.

The province reported 46 new outbreaks in Long Term Care, care homes and personal care homes. Locations of the outbreaks are no longer reported.

With approximately 45 per cent of the population receiving at least three doses, more Saskatchewan residents need to receive their COVID-19 booster doses.

Effective Aug. 15, individuals 18 years and older are eligible for a second booster dose four months after their third dose. Immunization remains the best protection against severe outcomes of COVID-19 including hospitalization and death.