COVID-19 cases decrease according to provincial report

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

According to the province’s bi-weekly respiratory illness surveillance report, there is a slight decrease of COVID-19 cases in the province.

The report showed data gathered between Oct. 23 and Nov. 5. During that two-week period, there were 1,400 COVID-19 cases, 712 of which occurred in residents 60 years of age and older. Another 498 were in patients age 20 to 59, while 190 cases were reported in patients age 19 and under. These are only lab-confirmed cases and not rapid antigen test-confirmed cases.

Saskatchewan’s test positivity rate has decreased from 11.8 per cent to 9.9 per cent. Provincially, COVID-19 wastewater levels have also decreased. Regions with the highest COVID-19 test positivity and increasing wastewater trends are Moose Jaw, Regina and area.

The province reported 39 deaths among COVID-19 patients from Oct. 23 to Nov. 4, 37 of which were in the 60 years of age or older category. The two remaining deaths involved patients in the 20 to 59 age group. The Ministry of Health did not report how many of those deaths occurred in North Central.

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

The report shows there are currently 164 hospital admissions and 15 ICU admissions.

COVID-19 hospitalizations remain plateaued since August 2022 at approximately 176 admissions per week. ICU admissions increased to 15 cases from previous weekly average of ten cases–the majority were 60+ years old.

The proportion of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients remains unchanged (11.7 per cent).

The Omicron BA.5 is the dominant variant of concern at 94 per cent in the current reporting period. The BA.5 sublineages BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are increasing

The province reported 14 new outbreaks in Long Term Care, care homes and personal care homes. Locations of the outbreaks are no longer reported.

From Oct. 16 to 22, there were 30,137 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered, of which 26,997 were additional boosters.

With the exception of Regina, all areas of the province have less than 50% of their population up-to-date for COVID-19 vaccines and less than half of individuals aged 50+ have had an additional booster dose (43 per cent).

Of those five and older, only 17 per cent have received their latest booster dose in the last six months.

Since bivalent boosters became available to higher-risk residents in the province Sept. 12 and expanded to all residents 18+ as of Sept. Only 12 per cent of individuals aged 12+ years have received a bivalent booster dose

On the influenza side cases are increasing in the province. Influenza cases increased from 68 to 192and 61% of influenza cases are aged 0 –19 years (117/192). Test positivity was 21.8 per cent (increase from 8.8 per cent). La Ronge, Prince Albert and Melfort areas have the highest influenza test positivity.

As of Oct. 13, the Ministry of Health launched the community respiratory illness surveillance program (CRISP) report to integrate COVID-19 surveillance and reporting with provincial respiratory illness and surveillance reporting, including influenza.

The report standardizes the epidemiological information required for respiratory illness surveillance and risk management and will be issued bi-weekly during respiratory illness season.