REGINA -- The Government of Saskatchewan reported 98 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, along with one death.

The death was a person in their 70s from the North West zone. Saskatchewan has recorded 562 COVID-19-related deaths.

The province now has 763 active COVID-19 cases, after confirming 95 more recoveries.

A total of 81 patients are in hospital related to COVID-19, including 10 in intensive care.

New cases are located in the Far North West (one), North West (nine), North Central (19), North East (two), Saskatoon (12), Central West (eight), Central East (eight), Regina (25), South Central (four) and South East (four) zones. Six cases are pending residence information.

 

VACCINES

The province said as of the end of day Thursday, there were an additional 24,260 vaccinations administered. That total includes data from both June 16 and 17.

A total of 961,997 doses have been given in Saskatchewan.

According to the province, 69 per cent of those 18 years and older have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine – one per cent shy of the target for step three of the reopening roadmap.

 

VARIANTS OF CONCERN

As of Thursday, 11,904 variants of concern have been identified in Saskatchewan – up 57 cases from Wednesday’s data.

Lineage results were determined for four more variants of concern. Of the variants identified by whole genome sequencing in Saskatchewan, 6,136 are Alpha (B.1.1.7), 231 are Gamma (P.1), 70 are Delta (B.1.617.2) and 10 are Beta (B.1.351).

STEP 2 OF REOPENING ROADMAP BEGINS SUNDAY

Certain public health measures will be loosened this weekend as Saskatchewan enters Step 2 of its reopening roadmap on Sunday.

Nearly three weeks ago, the province reached its targeted vaccine threshold to enter the next reopening phase – 70 per cent of people age 30 and older received their first dose.

In Step 2, there will be no capacity limits at retail stores and personal care services, but physical distancing must be maintained.

45+ ELIGIBLE FOR 2ND DOSE OF COVID-19 VACCINE

Second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are available in Saskatchewan for residents age 45 and older or anyone who received their first dose on or before May 1, as of 8 a.m. Thursday.

The age eligibility for Northern Saskatchewan Administration District is now 18 years and older for second doses regardless of when they received their first dose.

Other individuals who are eligible for their second doses – including anyone diagnosed with or being treated for cancer, or anyone who has received a solid organ transplant – will receive a letter.