Weekly COVID-19 reports shows increase in hospitalizations

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 an increase in hospitalizations and 33 deaths related to COVID-19 reported between March 13 to March 19.

There were 33 deaths reported over this time, an increase over five over the previous week.

During this time span, there were three deaths reported in North Central.

There were also nine deaths reported in Saskatoon, seven reported in Central East, one each reported in the adjacent North Central and North East zones, four in Regina, two in Central West, four in South Central and one each in South West and South East.

Of this week’s newly reported deaths, 14 occurred within the week. The other 19 deaths occurred in previous weeks (January 25 to March 12, 2022), but were reported this week.

Of these there were 22 in the 80 or older groups, five in the 70 to 79 age group, one in the 60 to 69 age group, four in the 40 to 59 age group and one in the 20 to 39 age group, 16 deaths were in males and 17 deaths were females.

The report shows 306 COVID-19 hospitalizations, an increase of six from last week. There were 19 individuals reported in the ICU, a decrease of five from the previous week.

Of these 134 were COVID-19 related illness, 156 were incidental COVID-19 infections and 19 patients were under investigation.

The province also reported 36 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Central from March 13 to March 19.

This was among 895 total cases confirmed in the province. These are only lab confirmed cases and not rapid antigen test confirmed cases.

The 895 new cases were confirmed reflecting about 0.7 laboratory-confirmed cases per 1,000 population.

The Saskatoon Zone led the province with 195 new cases.

The highest proportion of new cases for the week was in North West zone (1.2 per 1,000). Of the zones with confirmed cases the lowest was in Far North East zone (0.3 per 1,000).

The proportion of new laboratory-confirmed cases was 0.7 per 1,000, no change compared to last week. It was lower than the weekly rate in the previous four weeks (Feb.13 to March 12, 2022) of 0.9 cases per 1,000 population.

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 147 variants of concern (VOCs) reported during the week of March 13 to March 19 pared to 350 in the previous report.

Of the total VOCs reported this week, 100 per cent were Omicron VOC compared to 99.7 per cent in the previous week.

As well, 25.9 per cent of Omicron VOC were of sublineage BA.2 which was almost five times higher than previous week.

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.

As of March 19, of the population five years and older, 85.7 per cent received at least one dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine and 80.5 per cent had completed two doses.

Among the population 18 years and older, 51.2 per cent had received at least one booster vaccination.