Province reports four deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday

(File photo/Jayda Taylor)

Saskatchewan health officials reported four new deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday.

There was one death in the Regina zone in the 40 to 49 age group, one in the Far North East zone in the 60 to 69 age group, one in the 70 to 79 age group in the South Central zone and one death has residence pending in the 60 to 69 age group.

The number of deaths related to COVID-19 has risen to 491.

On Friday there were 15 new cases reported in North Central, which includes Prince Albert.

In the province there was a total of 264 new cases reported. Regina led the province with 79 new cases reported.

North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 46 active cases. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 26 active cases and North Central 3 has 47 active cases.

There are currently 173 COVID-19 patients in hospital across the province. Of the 136 reported as receiving in patient care, there are four in North Central. Of the 37 people reported as being in intensive care, there are two in North Central.

One case with residence pending has been added to North Central.

The current seven-day average for new cases is 241, or 19.7 cases per 100,000 population. Of the 41,098 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, 2,426 are considered active.

Another 252 recoveries were reported on Friday, bringing the total number of recoveries to 37,685.

Since the start of the pandemic, 89,058 cases are from the North area (3,847 North West, 3,771 North Central and 1,440 North East).

There were 3,916 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on April 26.

As of today there have been 769,787 COVID-19 tests performed in Saskatchewan.

There were 5,758 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in Saskatchewan bringing the total number of vaccines administered in the province to 427,739.

There were 651 doses administered in the North Central Zone reported on Thursday. Doses were also administered in the adjacent North East, North West, Far North Central, Far North East, Far North Central, Central West, Central East, South Central, South East, South West, Regina and Saskatoon.

There were 175 doses administered with zone of residence pending.

According to the province, 81 per cent of residents over the age of 60 have received their first dose and 41 per cent of those 18 plus have received their first dose.

Effective Friday eligibility in the provincial age-based immunization program has expanded to age 40 and older, except for the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District, where it has expanded to age 30 and older. Remaining prioritized front-line workers are also now eligible.

Eligible priority groups under 40 years of age may visit a drive-thru or walk-in clinic, arrange an appointment with a participating pharmacy, or call 1-833-SaskVax (1-833-727-5829) to make an appointment through the SHA booking system.

The online booking system is only available to those 40 plus and public health must ensure residents under 40 are not scheduled in a clinic providing AstraZeneca.

111 variants of concern identified in North Central

There are now 111 confirmed variants of concern (VOC) cases identified by the province in the North Central zone, as of April 29.

This was among 6,794 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 83 cases with area of residency pending.

There are now 20 VOCs identified in the adjacent North East.

Regina led the province with 3,717 identified VOCs.

There were 130 new lineage results reported today. Of the 2,522 VOCs with lineages identified by whole genome sequencing in Saskatchewan, 2,491 are B. (UK), nine are B.1.351 (SA) and 22 are P.1. (Brazilian).

The Regina zone accounts for 1,653 (or 66 per cent) of the VOC cases with confirmed lineage reported in Saskatchewan.