North Central resident among four COVID-19 deaths reported Wednesday

No new deaths have been reported.

A North Central resident in their 70s was among the four new COVID-19-related deaths reported by the provincial government Wednesday.

The Saskatoon and South East zones each reported a single death in the 80+ age range and a Regina resident in their 60s also passed away.

Additionally, three deaths previously attributed to COVID-19 were determined to not have been related to COVID-19. The changes mean a total of 226 Saskatchewan COVID-19 patients have died since the pandemic began.

The province also reported 694 new recoveries Wednesday, bringing that total to 17,184.

The province reported 234 new cases of COVID-19 on Jan. 20, with nine new cases in the North Central zone. Of those, four were in Prince Albert. The city’s active total case count now sits at 212. The province’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases is 298. That’s down from 317 a week ago. Premier Scott Moe said during a press conference Tuesday that the number is trending downward.

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab has said he wants to see that number below 120 or even as low as 60.

He also said Tuesday that while cases may be trending downward, hospitalization numbers are still too high, which could lead to more deaths and places greater strain on the health care system. He said Saskatchewan is nearing a critical point where serious actions may need to be taken if that strain increases further.

Updated hospitalization numbers weren’t available Wednesday, the province said, citing a technical glitch.

According to the province’s most recent data, there are currently 207 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 province-wide. Of those, 31 are in the ICU.

North Central has the third-highest number of hospitalizations with 28, including 24 inpatients and four in the ICU.

Tuesday saw 2,559 COVID-19 tests processed and 2,658 doses of vaccines administered.

Regina received the most doses with 774, followed by Central East with 485, North Central with 460, Saskatoon with 444 and North West with 348. The Far North East, Far North West, Far North Central and South East also received vaccines. No data was reported for the North East zone.

Canada will receive no doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week, but the shipment received this week will allow limited vaccinations to continue. Pfizer said the slowdown in vaccine distribution is to allow a ramp-up of production to meet an increased demand for the company’s mRNA vaccine developed with BioNTech.