COVID-19 cases decreasing in province 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.

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

The reporting period was from Nov. 20 to Dec. 3. During that time there were 814 COVID-19 cases (79 were 0 to 19 years; 339 were 20 to 59 years; and 396 were 60 years and older).

Test positivity in Saskatchewan has decreased to 6.6 per cent. The highest test positivity, 16.7 per cent, was in the Far North West (Meadow Lake and area). Regina had the highest viral load in wastewater but the trajectory is decreasing based on the weekly trend. This decrease occurred in all areas of the province except for the North West and North Central.

Test positivity for COVID-19 in the North Central region was 7.1 per cent. For influenza test positivity was 31.4 per cent. These are only lab confirmed cases and not rapid antigen test confirmed cases.

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

In the Nov. 20 to Dec. 3 reporting period, there have been 41 deaths in COVD-19 cases, one in the 20 to 59 age group, and 40 in the 60 years or older group.

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 the report.

The report shows there are currently 117 hospital admissions and eight ICU admissions.

COVID-19 hospitalizations decreased in the most recent reporting period, from 155 admissions per week to 117.

ICU admissions remain stable atapproximately12 admissions per week. The majority were 60+ years old. The proportion of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients decreased slightly to 9.4 per cent.

BA.4 and BA.5 are the most commonly detected variants of concern, with BA.5 dominant (92 per cent of current reporting period). The BA.5 sublineages BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are increasing, along with some detection of BF.7.

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

With the exception of Regina, all areas of the province have less than 50 pre cent of their population up-to-date for COVID-19 vaccines and less than half of individuals aged 50+ have had more thanone booster dose (45 per cent).

Of those aged five and older, 20 per cent have received their latest booster dose in the last six months. Only 16 per cent of individuals aged 12+ years have received a bivalent booster dose

On the influenza side cases are decreasing in the province. Influenza detections decreased to 547 cases this reporting period from 699 cases but remains the respiratory virus with the highest positivity at 25.5 per cent. Test positivity remains highest in the North Eastzone (Melfort and area) at 71.7 per cent.

Influenza hospitalizations decreased in this reporting period. Influenza ICU admissions remain stable.

The report also included the first instance of school absenteeism data, which shows the proportion of children who were absent from class due to illness. The type of illness is not specified. The report showed 15 per cent as the school absenteeism number.