382 new COVID-19 cases in Sask.; 4 more deaths
A staff member at the Regina drive-through testing station swabs a woman for COVID-19. (Jeremy Simes/CTV Regina)
REGINA -- Saskatchewan recorded 382 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday – the third highest number reported since the start of the pandemic.
The new cases are scattered across provincial zones, with the double-digit counts in Saskatoon (88), the Far North West (46), North West (45), Regina (42), North Central (38), North East (36), South East (30), and Central East (14).
On Thursday, the province’s Chief Medical Health Officer said if the numbers don’t start trending down, the province may look at tightening public health measures.
"This is really a critical time for us to really try to bring our numbers down, just the way we did in December," Dr. Saqib Shahab said during Thursday’s COVID-19 press conference where he provided an update on Saskatchewan’s modelling data.
Four more people have died due to the virus. Two people were in their 60s, they were from the North East and South East zones. The two others were in the 80 plus age group. They were from Saskatoon and the South East zone.
There are 210 people in hospital – a new record for the province – including 35 people in intensive care.
The seven-day average of daily new cases reached 320 on Friday – another record.
Saskatchewan reported 231 more recoveries.
With the new reported infections, the province surpassed 4,000 active cases for the second time, after first hitting the marker on Dec. 3.
There are currently 4,010 active COVID-19 cases. The province has recorded 19,715 cases of the virus to date.
According to Health Canada, as of Thursday, Saskatchewan remains in the top spot for active cases per capita with 329 per 100,000 people – up from 319 the day before.
Alberta has the second highest rate with 284 cases per 100,000 – down from 294 on Wednesday – followed by Quebec, which has 274 cases per 100,000 people – down from 279.
The province broke a positive record on Friday; there were 2,032 vaccines administered across Saskatchewan – this is excluding numbers from the Far North Central zone, which have not been reported yet.
Second doses of the Pfizer vaccine are now being administered for health care workers in Saskatoon, with residents and staff in long term and personal care homes coming up next.
On Friday, the Government of Canada announced a “temporary” delay in Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments, due to the pharmaceutical company’s expansion plans at its European manufacturing facility.
The current distribution schedule states Saskatchewan is slated to receive 11,700 Pfizer does each week in February.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said if this has changed, the feds “need to advise us immediately.”