Numbers still declining 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 COVID-19 hospitalizations, as well as a decrease in overall cases.

Case totals and hospitalizations were reported between May 29 to June 4.

There were also 10 deaths reported over this time, an increase of one from the previous report. One of those deaths occurred from March 27 to May 26, but was not reported as a COVID death until this week. The remaining seven deaths occurred between May 29 to June 4.

North Central reported no COVID deaths during this period.

There were five deaths reported in the Regina zone, two in Saskatoon and one each in the South East, Central East and Central West zones. Of these, eight reported in the 80 or older age group, and two were reported in the 60 to 69 and 70 to 79 age group. Of these four were female and six were male.

The report shows 187 COVID-19 hospitalizations, a decrease of 36 from last week. There were 10 individuals reported in the ICU, an increase of four over the previous week.

Of these 56 were COVID-19 related illness, 118 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 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Central from May 29 to June 4.

This was among 285 total cases confirmed in the province. These are only lab confirmed cases and not rapid antigen test confirmed cases.

The 285 new cases were confirmed reflecting about 24 laboratory-confirmed cases per 1,000 population.

The Saskatoon Zone led the province with 78 new cases.

The highest proportion of new cases for the week was in the Far North Central zone, at 38 per 100,000 population. The lowest proportion was in South West zone at 13 per 100,000 population.

The proportion of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 24 per 1,000 population, which is lower than 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 122variants of concern (VOCs) reported during the week of May 29 to June 4 compared to 437 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, 97.5 per cent of the Omicron VOC were of sublineage BA.2 compared to 76.9 per cent last week. A decrease in proportion of BA.2 in the previous week was due to inclusion of older samples for sequencing from January 2022.

The province also reported eight 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, five outbreaks were reported in long term care facilities. Three outbreak occurred in personal care homes.

As of June 9, 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, 52.6 per cent had received at least one booster, similar to the previous week.

During the week of May 29 to June 4, 2022, 5,977 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered, of which 239 were pediatric doses and 5,419 were booster doses.