The COVID-19 integrated epidemiological (EPI) report released on Thursday showed a trend of increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations, as well as in overall cases. Numbers were reported between Aug. 14 to Sept. 10.
COVID-19 activity is increasing in the province of Saskatchewan. Compared to the previous reporting period (July 17 to Aug. 13) test positivity increased from 7.4 to 8. per cent. Far North West (14.4 per cent) and Central West (13.1 per cent) have the highest test positivity.
There were 25 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 594 hospital admissions, which is 194 per week and 38 ICU admissions, which is 10 per week.
This was among 1,924 total cases confirmed in the province. These are only lab confirmed cases and not rapid antigen test confirmed cases. That’s a test positivity rate of roughly 8.9.
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 have been the dominant sublineages detected in Saskatchewan since the week of June 26. The proportions of BA.4 and BA.5 sublineages (5.8 per cent and 92.5 per cent, respectively) have increased this month compared to last month (3.6 per cent and 92.4 per cent, respectively)
The province reported 41 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 August 15 individuals 18 years and older were eligible for a second booster dose four months after their third dose. Effective August 3, children five to 11 years of age were eligible for a booster dose.
Immunization remains the best protection against severe outcomes of COVID-19 including hospitalization and death.
Province expands Bivalent vaccine booster eligibility
The Province announced on Thursday that starting Monday, September 19, the Moderna bivalent booster dose will be available at Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) vaccination clinics and through participating pharmacists all Saskatchewan residents 70 years and older and all Saskatchewan residents 50 years and older in First Nation and Métis communities and those in the Northern Service Administration District (NSAD).
It is recommended that eligible populations receive the Moderna bivalent booster dose at least four months following their last COVID-19 vaccination. This bivalent booster can only be used as a booster and not as the first or second dose in a primary vaccination series. Individuals need to have completed at least two primary doses to receive this booster. If you have had COVID-19, you can receive any booster dose once you have recovered.
When booking your appointments at an SHA clinic, you are not required to specify which COVID-19 vaccine you wish to receive. The option will be provided to eligible individuals in the clinic at the time of vaccination, starting Monday.
Additional age groups will be eligible to receive the bivalent vaccine as supply is received by the province. Any program expansion will be announced publicly and is anticipated in early October.
All Saskatchewan residents age six months and older can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and the majority of the population is eligible for booster doses.
COVID-19’s Omicron variants are transmitting in the province. Receiving all doses you are eligible for improves your protection against serious illness.