85 COVID-19 variants of concern, 224 new cases reported in Sask.
A transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles. (AFP)
REGINA -- The Government of Saskatchewan reported 85 newly detected COVID-19 variants of concern on Saturday, along with 224 new cases and 87 recoveries.
The province has now identified 1,240 variants of concern, it said in a release.
"Variants of concern (VoC) are beginning to rise across southern Saskatchewan, particularly in the Moose Jaw area," the release reads.
Variants of concern have been detected in the Far North East (one), Saskatoon (18), Central West (one), Central East (24), Regina (1,041), South Central (80) and South East (75) zones.
224 NEW CASES, 87 RECOVERIES, NO DEATHS
The 224 new cases are located in the Far North West (four), Far North East (two), North West (10), North Central (nine), North East (13), Saskatoon (28), Central West (four), Central East (three), Regina (122), South Central (18) and South East (11) zones.
Four cases pending residence information were assigned.
There are now 1,817 COVID-19 cases considered active in Saskatchewan.
The province said there are 152 people in hospital related to COVID-19, including 25 people in intensive care.
The seven-day average for new cases is 190, or 15.5 per 100,000 population.
INCREASED COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION OF VARIANTS IN MOOSE JAW
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is recommending new precautions for Moose Jaw area residents due to increased community transmission of COVID-19 variants.
As of Saturday, the province said it has detected 80 variants of concern in the South Central zone, which includes Moose Jaw.
While the mode of transmission and symptoms for variants are similar to the original COVID-19 strain, the SHA said variants of concern are 36 to 70 per cent more transmissible.
CASES CONTINUE TO RISE IN REGINA
Regina's 964 active COVID-19 cases make up more than half of the province's total active cases.
The 122 newly reported cases in Regina account for 54 per cent of Saturday's new case count.
A total of 1,348 COVID-19 tests were processed from the Regina zone on Friday, making for a nine per cent test positivity rate for the region. The test positivity for the rest of the province was 3.7 per cent.
There were 4,103 COVID-19 tests processed from across Saskatchewan on Friday.
The province said 4,814 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were given in Saskatchewan. There have now been 167,509 doses of vaccines administered.
The new doses were delivered in the Far North Central (10), Far North East (11), North West (203), North Central (239), Saskatoon (1,517), Central East (1,371), Regina (1,372) and South Central (91) zones.