Province integrates COVID-19 reporting with other respiratory illnesses

Graphic courtesy HFCM Communicatie, via Wikimedia This is a representation of what the Covid-19 virus would look like under a powerful microscope.

The province of Saskatchewan changed the way they report COVID-19 in the province again beginning on Thursday.

What was formerly the COVID-19 integrated epidemiological (EPI) report is now a respiratory illness surveillance report.

As of Oct. 13, the Ministry of Health has combined their COVID-19 surveillance reports with provincial respiratory surveillance reports, including influenza. The new report is called the Community Respiratory Illness Surveillance Program (CRISP). It standardizes the epidemiological information required for respiratory illness surveillance and risk management and will be issued bi-weekly during respiratory illness season. 

The province has also changed the way the report is delivered so comparisons to previous weekly reports are not easily reflected.

Test positivity in Saskatchewan has decreased from 11.0 per cent to 9.3 per cent. The highest test positivity (13.5 per cent) is in South East (Weyburn/Estevan area). Confirmed cases and deaths have slightly decreased; both are predominately among those 60 and older. There were 39 deaths reported over this time.

It is not known how many deaths occurred in North Central over this time period. The majority of the deaths were in the 60 plus age group according to the report.

The report shows 694 hospital admissions, and 33 ICU admissions.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have remained plateaued since July at approximately 160 admissions per week; ICU admissions remain stable at approximately nine per week.

This was among 1,987 total cases confirmed in the province. These are only lab confirmed cases and not rapid antigen test confirmed cases. That’s a test positivity rate of roughly 9.45 over the time span.

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

Currently, the Omicron sublineages BA.4/BA.5 are the most commonly detected variants of concern with BA.5 dominant.

The province reported 56 new outbreaks in Long Term Care, care homes and personal care homes total between Sept. 11 and Oct. 13. Locations of the outbreaks are no longer reported.

With the exception of Regina, all areas of the province have less than 50 per cent of their population up-to-date1 for COVID-19 vaccines and just over a third of individuals aged 50 and over have had an additional booster dose (37 per cent)

Since bivalent boosters became available to higher-risk residents in the province September 12 and expanded to all residents 18 and over as of Sept. 29, only 3.6 per cent of individuals aged 18 and over have received a bivalent booster dose.