One death related to COVID-19 reported Wednesday

(File photo/Jayda Taylor)

Saskatchewan health officials reported one new deaths related to COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The death was in the South East zone and in the 70 to 79 age group.

The number of deaths related to COVID-19 has risen to 458.

On Wednesday there were two cases reported in North Central, which includes Prince Albert.

This was among a total of 193 cases reported in the province. Regina led the province with 66 new cases reported.

North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 28 active cases. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 22 active cases and North Central 3 has 10 active cases.

There are currently 203 COVID-19 patients in hospital across the province. Of the 162 reported as receiving in patient care, nine are in North Central. Of the 41 people reported as being in intensive care, one in North Central.

The current seven-day average for new cases is 271, or 22.2 cases per 100,000 population. Of the 37,085 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, 2,525 are considered active. Another 222 recoveries were reported on Wednesday, bringing the total number of recoveries to 34,102.

Since the start of the pandemic, 8,462 cases are from the North area (3,494 North West, 3,586 North Central and 1,382 North East).

There were 3,258 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on April 12. As of April 13, there have been 710,655 COVID-19 tests performed in Saskatchewan.

There were 8,682 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in Saskatchewan bringing the total number of vaccines administered in the province to 307,449 .

There were 686 doses administered in the North Central Zone reported on Wednesday. Doses were also administered in the adjacent North East, North West, Far North West, Far North East, Central West, Central East, South West, South Central, South East, Saskatoon and Regina.

There were 262 doses administered with zone of residence information pending.

In an effort to continue to protect residents as quickly as possible, the eligible age for booking vaccination appointments online or by telephone is also being lowered from 55 to 52. This change will took effect Wednesday morning.

Yesterday several changes were made to the vaccine delivery plan to include more vulnerable groups to priority vaccination including all pregnant woman, young adults ages 16 and 17 who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable and everyone over the age of 40 in the far north.

Pregnant women and vulnerable 16 and 17 year olds will receive an eligibility letter from their physician and will need to use the 1-833-SaskVax telephone number to book

According to the province, 55 per cent of residents age 50 plus have received their first dose.

46 variants of concern identified in North Central

There are now 46 confirmed variants of concern (VOC) cases identified by the province in the North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert, as of April 14.

This was among 3,901 variants of concern identified by screening in Saskatchewan to date. Other regions with identified cases included Regina, Saskatoon, Far North East, Central West, Central East, South West, South Central and South East. There are currently 32 cases with area of residency pending.

There remains three variants identified in the adjacent North East zone.

Regina led the province with 2,532 identified VOCs.

These have previously been reported as “presumptive positives” but all screening tests will be considered confirmed VOCs for the purposes of public reporting and contact investigations.

There were no new lineage results reported today. Of the 1,435 VOCs with lineages identified by whole genome sequencing in Saskatchewan, 1,426 are B1.1.1.7 (UK) and nine are B1.351 (SA).

The Regina zone accounts for 1,131 (79 per cent) of the VOC cases with confirmed lineage reported in Saskatchewan.

Pharmacy pilot project to begin in late April

On Wednesday the province announced that they are preparing to offer COVID-19 vaccinations in pharmacies. In late April, select pharmacies will participate in a small-scale rollout to refine distribution and vaccination processes before larger volumes of vaccine are distributed to more pharmacies province-wide.

Appointments for pharmacy vaccinations are not yet available. Once participating pharmacies are ready to provide vaccinations, there will be additional information provided by the Ministry of Health and pharmacies will communicate directly with the public.