248 new COVID-19 cases, 5 more deaths; province says public health measures remain until Jan. 29
REGINA -- Saskatchewan reported 248 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. This is in addition to five more deaths across the province and 226 more recoveries. The province’s seven-day average of daily new cases is 321 – the highest it has ever been.
The new cases are concentrated in Saskatoon (53), Regina (37), the North West zone (30), which includes North Battleford and Lloydminster, and the North Central region (26), which includes Prince Albert.
Two deaths were reported in Regina, both were individuals above the age of 80. Two more deaths were people in their 70s; one from the Far North West, and one from the North West. The fifth death was a person in their 30s from the South West zone.
There are 191 people in hospital; 29 people are in intensive care.
The new cases bring Saskatchewan’s active case count to 3,752. There have been 204 COVID-19 related deaths in the province.
The government announced that current public health measures put in place before Christmas will remain in effect until Jan. 29, 2021. The restrictions will then be reviewed by provincial Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab.
Current restrictions include:
- Private, indoor gatherings remain limited to immediate household members only.
- People may meet and greet outdoors with up to 10 people only, provided physical distancing between households can be maintained.
- The public health orders for licensed establishments; sports, fitness and dance; places of worship; and mandatory masking remain in place.
- All non-essential interprovincial travel is discouraged.
The past two weeks have also seen the province’s test positivity rate remains steady at more than ten per cent.
The province attributes this increase to the public health measures not being followed over the holidays, but is hopeful those same restrictions will bring down case numbers over the next two weeks.
"We need universal compliance to see if this can turnaround, otherwise the other options that remain beyond the current public health measures are, we can see them being enacted in other jurisdictions across Canada, are quite stringent," Dr. Saqib Shahab said during Tuesday's live update.
An additional 880 vaccines were administered in Saskatchewan. A total of 9,880 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given to people across the province.
So far, there have been 2,069 doses and 1,449 second doses of the Pfizer vaccine administered in the Regina pilot program; 2,928 Pfizer doses in Saskatoon; 824 Pfizer doses in Prince Albert; 684 doses of the Moderna vaccine in the Far North West zone; 226 Moderna doses in the Far North Central zone; 1,193 Moderna doses in the Far North East zone; and 507 Moderna doses in the North East zone.
The province is expecting a shipment of 5,400 Moderna doses to arrive on Thursday, Jan. 14. Five hundred of those vaccines will be sent to the Far North East zone. The remaining 4,900 will be sent to long term care homes for staff, residents and health care workers in the South East and Central East regions, including care homes in Wadena, Canora and Weyburn.
The next Pfizer shipment of 6,825 vaccine doses is expected to arrive in Saskatoon today.
SASK. NDP ADDRESSES RISING CASE NUMBERS
Saskatchewan’s NDP Leader Ryan Meili spoke on Monday about his concerns over the provinces rising COVID-19 case numbers.
Meili and the NDP alleged the government previously withheld COVID-19 modelling data, and asked the government to commit to transparency regarding hospitalizations, testing, and vaccine delivery.
“We need a commitment from this government that they’re going to stop hiding information from the people of Saskatchewan,” Meili said. “This is people’s livelihoods and their actual lives. People are dying. They have a duty to be open and honest.”
Meili said he feels current measure are not doing enough to slow the spread of the virus.