REGINA -- Saskatchewan recorded 81 new COVID-19 cases Friday, along with one additional death and 98 recoveries.

The person who died was in 80-plus age range and from the Saskatoon zone. There have been 554 COVID-related deaths in Saskatchewan since the beginning of the pandemic.

The new cases are in the Far Northwest (three); Far Northeast (four); Northwest (13); North Central (seven); Northeast (three); Saskatoon (17); Central East (three); Regina (14); Southwest (seven); South Central (seven); and Southeast (two) zones. One case is pending residence information.

There are 104 people in hospital across the province; 17 of those people are in the ICU in the Northwest (one); North Central (four); Saskatoon (six); Central East (one); Regina (four); and Southwest (one) zones.

 

The seven-day average of new daily cases is 78. There are fewer than one thousand active cases in the province for the third day in a row as the government reported 899 active cases Friday.

VACCINES

The province said there were 15,212 vaccines given Thursday, bringing the provincial total to 860,651.

Healthcare workers have given 682,242 first doses and 178,409 second doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Second doses continue to pick up speed in the province – the number of fully vaccinated residents has increased 282 per cent in the past 30 days.

The province announced an accelerated second dose schedule Friday. Everyone age 12 and older will be eligible to get their second dose by the end of June.

As of Friday, 68 per cent of people age 18 and older have received their first dose, while 66 per cent of residents age 12 and older have their first shot.

 

VARIANTS OF CONCERN

The government did not report any additional COVID-19 cases as variants of concern. As of Thursday, the government said labs have identified 11,504 cases to be variants of concern.

Labs have confirmed the variant type of 6,199 variant cases through whole genome sequencing. The dominant variant type in Saskatchewan continues to be the Alpha variant – also known as the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the U.K. To date, 5,932 Alpha variant cases have been confirmed across the province. 

2ND VACCINE DOSE ELIGIBILITY DROPS TO 55+

Saskatchewan residents 55 years and older are eligible to receive their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, effective 8 a.m. Thursday.

The expanded eligibility also includes anyone who received their first dose on or before April 7.

Second dose eligibility for residents of the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District remains at 40 years and older.

REGINA DROP IN VACCINE CLINIC FOR STUDENTS, FAMILIES

The SHA is opening a drop-in vaccine clinic geared towards Regina students, their families and caregivers, on Friday.

“Students are out of school for the most part [on Friday], so we thought this would be a great day if parents are home with their kids to be able to come on down and get their vaccines,” Laveena Tratch, the SHA’s Vaccine Section Chief for Regina, said in an interview with CTV Morning Live Regina Thursday.

The clinic, located at the International Trade Centre at Evraz Place, will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.