COVID-19 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.

According to the province’s monthly respiratory illness surveillance report, COVID-19 has increased in Saskatchewan.

The reporting period was from June 18 to July 15.

The number of positive lab tests for COVID-19 increased to 44 in the most recent week. Test positivity increased from 3.0 per cent to 4.6 per cent in the same time period. COVID-19 cases are in the 20 to 64 years (47.2%) and 65+ years (52.8%) age groups.

Throughout the province, COVID-19 wastewater viral load remained low. The trajectory is decreasing in most areas except for Yorkton. The trajectory in Regina and La Ronge remained stable.

Earlier this month, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) took over wastewater data from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina.

Test positivity for COVID-19 in the North Central region was 6.6 per cent. For influenza, test positivity was 0.0 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.

Deaths due to COVID-19 remain stable. In the last four weeks, five COVID-19 deaths were reported.

It is not known how many deaths occurred in North Central over this period.

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

COVID-19 hospitalizations have decreased from 70 to 59 for the most recent four weeks. COVID-19 ICU admissions have increased to a total of 10 in the current month, from five reported in the previous month.

The proportion of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients is 1.5 per cent for the most recent week.

Of those aged five years and older, three per cent have received their latest booster dose in the last six months. With the exception of Regina, all areas of the province have less than 50 per cent of their population up-to-date for COVID-19 vaccines. Only 21 per cent of individuals aged 12+ years have received a bivalent booster dose. Less than half of individuals aged 50+ have had more than one booster dose.

As of Oct. 13, 2022 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.