Weekly COVID-19 report shows decrease in hospitalizations for third consecutive week

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 decrease in hospitalizations related to COVID-19 for the third consecutive report. The numbers were reported between May 1 and May 7.

There were also 19 deaths reported over this time, an increase of five over the previous week. Three of those deaths occurred prior to April 29, but were not reported as COVID deaths until the following week. The remaining 16 deaths occurred between May 1 to May 7.

North Central reported no COVID deaths during this period.

There was one death reported in the adjacent North East zone, seven reported in Regina, five reported in Saskatoon, four reported in the Central East zone and one death reported in the South East.

Of these there were six reported in the 80 or older age group, five in the 70 to 79 age group and four each in the 60 to 69 and 40 to 59 age groups. Of these five were female and 14 were male.

The report shows 321 COVID-19 hospitalizations, a decrease of 69 from last week. There were 16 individuals reported in the ICU, a decrease of six over the previous week.

Of these 125 were COVID-19 related illness, 186 were incidental COVID-19 infections and 10 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 seven times more likely to die than people who were vaccinated with three doses when adjusted for age.

The province also reported 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Central from May 1 to May 7.

This was among 710 total cases confirmed in the province. These are only lab confirmed cases and not rapid antigen test confirmed cases.

The 710 new cases were confirmed reflecting about 0.6 laboratory-confirmed cases per 1,000 population.

The Saskatoon Zone led the province with 210 new cases.

The highest proportion of new cases for the week was in the North West zone, at 0.8 per 1,000 population. The lowest proportion, in zones with positive cases, was in the Far North East at 0.3 per 1,000 population.

The proportion of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 0.6 per 1,000 population, unchanged from the 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 252 variants of concern (VOCs) reported during the week of May 1 to May 7 compared to 572n the previous report.

Of the total VOCs reported in the past two weeks, 100 per cent were the Omicron VOCs.

As well, 94.8 per cent of Omicron VOC were of sublineage BA.2 which was an increase over the previous report.

The province also reported 10 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. Outbreaks occurred in five personal care homes.

As of April 30, of the population five years and older, 85.8 per cent received at least one dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine and 80.9 per cent completed a series.

Among the population 18 years and older, 52,3 per cent had received at least one booster vaccination.

During the week of May 1 to 7, 23,380 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered, of which 324 were pediatric doses and 22,676 were booster doses.