Two residents diagnosed with COVID-19 die; northern zones lead new case growth

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Two more Regina residents who were diagnosed with COVID-19 have died.

On Friday, the province reported that a resident in their 70s and a resident in the 80+ age group had passed away.

The deaths bring Saskatchewan’s total to 107 since the pandemic reached the province in March — more than seven times the number of deaths seen in the province during the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic.

In terms of new cases, the province reported 245 positive COVID-19 tests Friday, along with 485 recoveries. That brings the new active total to 3,736.

While Saskatoon and Regina were seeing significant day-by-day case increases earlier in December, the northern regions were the ones that reported the biggest increases Friday.

The North West had the single biggest one-day total with 53 new cases, while the North Central had 16 and the North East 14.

Combined, the north and north-central zones accounted for just under half of the new cases reported Friday.

Prince Albert, identified as North Central 2, saw 13 new cases and now has 223 active in the community.

That increase comes as the Saskatchewan health Authority reports a greater strain on north zone hospitals, with North Battleford and Prince Albert hospitals ending almost all elective surgeries in order to provide enough staff to handle the influx of COVID-positive patients.

The seven-day average of daily new cases is 230, or 19 new cases per 100,000 population. New cases per population are trending downward but is still well above the six per 100,000 that the province is targeting in order to be able to reduce the strain on the health care system.

On Thursday, 3,171 COVID-19 tests were processed in Saskatchewan.