Downward trend continues in COVID-19 weekly 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 weekly COVID-19 integrated epidemiological (EPI) report showed a continuing trend of decreases in hospitalizations related to COVID-19, as well as a decrease in overall cases. Numbers were reported between May 22 to May 28.

There were also nine deaths reported over this time, a decrease of three over the previous report. One of those deaths occurred on Feb. 26, but was not reported as a COVID death until May. The remaining eight deaths occurred between May 22 to 28.

North Central reported three COVID deaths during this period.

There were also three deaths reported in the Central East zone, two in Saskatoon and one in Regina.

Of these there were five reported in the 80 or older age group, two were reported in the 40 to 59 age group and one each was reported in the 60 to 69 and 70 to 79 age group. Of these four were female and five were male.

The report shows 232 COVID-19 hospitalizations, a decrease of 26 from last week. There were six individuals reported in the ICU, a decrease of four over the previous week.

Of these 68 were COVID-19 related illness, 151 were incidental COVID-19 infections and13 patients were under investigation.

Overall in Saskatchewan, the rates of COVID-19 hospitalization, ICU admission and deaths are higher among people who are unvaccinated than among people with two or three vaccinations.

In each age group, rates of hospitalization, ICU admission and death are higher among unvaccinated individuals compared to those who have received two or three doses.

Lower rates of severe outcomes in the three-dose group compared to the two dose group are suggestive of the added benefits of the booster dose.

The predominant variant during the observation period was Omicron, an indication that being fully vaccinated and boosted provides protection against the Omicron variant.

Unvaccinated people were about six times more likely to die than people who were vaccinated with three doses when adjusted for age.

The province also reported 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Central from May 22 to May 28.

This was among 364 total cases confirmed in the province. These are only lab confirmed cases and not rapid antigen test confirmed cases.

The 364 new cases were confirmed reflecting about 0.3 laboratory-confirmed cases per 1,000 population.

The Saskatoon Zone led the province with 109 new cases.

The highest proportions of new cases for the week were in the Far North West and North East zones, at 0.5 per 1,000 population. The lowest proportion, in zones having cases, was in Far North East at 0.1 per 1,000 population.

The proportion of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 0.3 per 1,000 population, the same as last week.

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

There were 437 variants of concern (VOCs) reported during the week of May 22 to May 28 compared to 344 in the previous report.

Of the total VOCs reported in the past two weeks, 100 per cent were the Omicron VOCs.

As well, 87.8 per cent of Omicron VOC were of sublineage BA.2 which was a increase over the 70.9 per cent reported last week.76.9 per cent of the Omicron VOC were of sublineage BA.2 which was lower than the last week, which was 87.8 per cent. The decrease was due to inclusion of older samples for sequencing from January 2022, which resulted a decreased in the proportion of BA.2.

The province also reported three new outbreaks in Long Term Care, care homes and personal care homes. There were no new outbreaks reported in the North Central zone in the reporting period.

Of these, two outbreaks were reported in long term care facilities. An outbreak occurred in one personal care home.

As of May 21, Of the population five years and older, 81.0 per cent completed a series, the same as the previous week.

Among the population 18 years and older, 52.5 per cent had received at least one booster, similar to the previous week.

During the week of May 22 to 28, 7,239 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered, of which 214 were pediatric doses and 6,720 were booster doses.

Both the number of pediatric and the total number of booster doses have declined compared to the previous week.