COVID-19 increasing in the 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 new respiratory illness surveillance report released on Oct. 13 COVID-19 has increased in Saskatchewan.

The reporting period was from Sept. 24 to Oct. 7. COVID-19 activity has increased from 229 positive tests in the week ending September 30 to 270 positive tests for the week ending Oct. 6. Test positivity for the most recent surveillance week was 13.0 per cent.

The number of positive lab tests for COVID-19 increased from 229 in the week ending September 30 to 270 in the most recent week.

COVID-19 cases were highest in the 65+ years age group (60.6 per cent), followed by the 20 to 64 group (31.8 per cent).

In July, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) took over wastewater data from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina.

Saskatoon and Regina had the highest viral loads in wastewater, but both were lower than the previous two weeks. Similarly, most other areas of the province had relatively stable and decreased viral loads compared to recent weeks.

Test positivity for COVID-19 in the North Central region was 14.9 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.

In the last two weeks, four COVID-19 associated-deaths were reported. It is not known how many deaths occurred in North Central over this period.

The report shows there are currently 69 hospital admissions and eight ICU admissions.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have slightly increased from 127 for the previous two weeks to 131 for the most recent two weeks. COVID-19 ICU admissions have slightly increased from 9 for the previous two weeks to 12 for the most recent two weeks.

The proportion of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients increased to 3.9 per cent for the most recent week.

Of those aged five years and older, 2.1 per have received their latest booster dose in the last six months. Except for Regina, all areas of the province have less than 50 per cent of their population up-to-date for COVID-19 vaccines.

Influenza and COVID-19 vaccines are available in Saskatchewan effective Oct. 10.

The report also included the school absenteeism data. School-illness absenteeism data did not change much over the last four reporting weeks. The data indicated 8.5 per cent of Saskatchewan students were absent due to illness in the week of Oct 1 to 7, which slightly decreased from 9.7 per cent in the previous surveillance week.

Influenza activity was stable over the past two weeks and remained below the inter-seasonal two per cent test positivity threshold. Influenza hospitalizations have slightly decreased from three for the previous two weeks to two for the most recent two weeks

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.