Peak of Sask. Omicron wave still 2 to 4 weeks away: Health officials
The Omicron wave in Saskatchewan is expected to peak in the next two to four weeks, according to the province’s top doctor.
“Apart from school or work, we need to really minimize our non-essential contacts for the next two to four weeks,” Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer, said during a press conference Tuesday.
“That is going to be critical because once the hospitalizations peak, that is going to be due to exposures that happened two to three weeks earlier.”
Shahab indicated that hospitalization rates are not expected to peak for around six weeks —approximately two weeks after the case peak.
“While we expect to peak in case numbers over the next two to four weeks, starting in Regina and Saskatoon and continuing to rural and northern areas, hospitalizations peak after a one to two week lag,” said Shahab. “So, unfortunately, we will see hospitalizations increase for another six weeks.”
As of Tuesday there are 171 people in hospital related to COVID-19, with 17 of those receiving intensive care.
Saskatchewan’s test positivity rate was nearly 40 per cent province wide on Monday and nearly 30 per cent on Tuesday. Shahab said the province’s test positivity peak will likely coincide with the peak of the Omicron wave.
“As the test positivity rate goes high and then starts coming down, that’s a good indication an area has peaked,” Shahab said.
“We fully expect parts of the province that have a high test positivity rate, such as the urban areas and further south, to start coming down first, because we started to see the Omicron surge there earlier.”
However, the positivity rate only accounts for those who have taken a PCR test and not just a rapid test.
Shahab said with somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 PCR tests being administered each day as of late, the current self isolation rules regarding rapid testing will remain in place.
The isolation protocol will help prioritize PCR tests for the most vulnerable and those with symptomatic cases.
“Because we have such high testing numbers, 3,000 or 4,000 people getting tested with PCR everyday. We want to optimize PCR testing for those who are symptomatic, especially those who are older, and have underlying health risk factors, because then that can link them to additional therapies or better management of the underlying conditions as well,” said Shahab.
When it comes to the Omicron peak, Shahab said reaching out to other testing providers can also help the province determine when the Omicron surge will peak and start to decrease.
“We are trying to reach out to other providers of testing, beta testing for example and travel, because they have also seen an increase in test positivity rates from less than one per cent to three or four per cent,” he said.
“That’s obviously not as high as nearly 40 per cent, but they’re testing people who are travelling and otherwise feeling well, so all those pieces of information are important pieces to help us track when Omicron is going to peak in the community.”
The province again reiterated how important it is to stay home from work or school when not feeling well and to get tested.
Tuesday saw another 1,089 cases announced, the test positivity number remained high at close to 30 per cent.
Regina Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Students trapped inside a classroom with a gunman repeatedly called 911 during this week's attack on a Texas elementary school, including one who pleaded, 'Please send the police now,' as nearly 20 officers waited in the hallway for more than 45 minutes, authorities said Friday.
As Johnny Depp's high-profile libel lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard wound down, Heard took her final opportunity on the stand to comment on the hate and backlash she’s endured online during the trial.
A new report says Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto rank among the top 20 cities around the world when it comes to work-life balance.
Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino will table new firearms legislation on Monday, according to his colleague Justice Minister David Lametti. In an interview with CTV's Question Period that will air on Sunday, Lametti pointed to the advance notice given to the House of Commons, and confirmed the plan is to see the new bill unveiled shortly after MPs return to the Commons on May 30.
An 11-year-old survivor of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas, feared the gunman would come back for her so she smeared herself in her friend's blood and played dead.
For 70 years, Andre Hissink has held a grudge against the Dutch government, but this week, the 102-year-old Second World War veteran’s persistence paid off – the Dutch king granted his wish for a rare dual citizenship.
Canada has tapped into its own strategic stockpile of emergency medical supplies -- stored for a national emergency -- to help Ukraine. It has donated over 375,000 items of medical equipment and medicines from Canada's strategic stockpile since the invasion by Russia began.
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, more commonly known as 'broken heart syndrome' or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, is an actual medical condition triggered by severe emotional or physical stress and is different from a heart attack.
After a six-week trial in which Johnny Depp and Amber Heard tore into each other over the nasty details of their short marriage, both sides told a jury the exact same thing Friday -- they want their lives back.
Barrett Ross says his dog Indy suffered a punctured bowel, lost a tooth and had his stomach injured when he was attacked by three other dogs.
The Saskatoon Tribal Council's (STC) temporary downtown shelter has been granted an extension to operate at its present location until April 2023 — but Tribal Chief Mark Arcand hopes to relocate well before then.
A pedestrian injured by a vehicle in Prince Albert has died.
Pembina Trails School Division is confirming to CTV News that a group of students found a body during community cleanup at Ècole South Pointe School.
Winnipeg police are telling people to find an alternate route this afternoon as they are investigating a fatal crash near the St. Boniface Industrial Park.
'It's one way to be creative': Winnipeg student wants to be a bartender when older; school doesn't like comment in yearbook
Bartender. That is what one Grade 4 student said for the yearbook when asked what he wanted to be when he grows up, an answer the school is asking him to change.
A southern Alberta man who killed three people, including a two-year-old girl, could have the ability to request a release from jail earlier than his original sentence intended, thanks to a landmark Supreme Court decision Friday.
Calgary Flames fans are still coming to terms with a playoff series loss to the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night in a game that saw both controversy and heartbreak following a Connor McDavid overtime goal.
Western Canada's premiers want to reform their health-care systems by expanding services but they say Ottawa first needs to pick up the phone.
A hotly-controversial decision on whether or not to freeze base funding for police in Edmonton was delayed Friday as fallout from a dispute between the mayor and the provincial justice minister continued to rattle political circles.
A 19-year-old man is in police custody after a shooting near Rogers Place after an Edmonton Oilers viewing party ended Thursday evening.
Police are looking for a man who they say sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman on Thursday.
WATCH | New video appears to show man carrying air rifle on Toronto streets before being killed by police
A man shot dead by police officers near a Toronto elementary school on Thursday afternoon appears to have been captured on home security footage carrying an air rifle moments before the incident.
A 21-year-old Toronto man is facing a slew of charges following a suspected hate-motivated incident at a Jewish school in North York.
Toronto Pearson International is warning travellers and Mississauga residents they may notice unusual activity at the airport this weekend.
As of Friday evening, 26,000 Hydro Ottawa customers remain without power in all neighbourhoods of the city.
Approximately 25,000 people will take part in Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
Ottawa Bylaw says the "mama and her 4 kittens" were abandoned outside the PetSmart on Innes Road sometime between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Friday.
With ridership still well below pre-pandemic levels, TransLink looks for 'long-term revenue solutions'
Metro Vancouver's public transit system will be dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for years to come, according to recent funding and ridership announcements by TransLink.
The federal government needs to come to the table to discuss more money for health care, Western Canada's premiers said at their annual meeting.
Charges approved in 'very serious and traumatic' Surrey sexual assault involving break-in, confinement
A man identified previously by police has now been charged in connection with what officers call a "very serious and traumatic" sexual assault in Surrey, B.C.
Is it unconstitutional to make someone pay to get a legal document translated into French? One of Montreal's top lawyers thinks so, and pointed out two other things from Bill 96 that he thinks the courts would most easily find fault with.
Canada's highest court has ruled that Alexandre Bissonnette, who murdered six people at the Quebec City mosque in 2017, will be eligible for parole after 25 years.
Hydro-Quebec is still struggling to restore power to tens of thousands of homes left without electricity, six days after deadly storms hit in Quebec and Ontario.
B.C. speedboat driver arrested with 650kg of meth 'feared for his family's safety,' he told U.S. investigators
New details are emerging after a 51-year-old Alberta man was arrested aboard a speedboat that U.S. authorities say was carrying 650 kilograms of methamphetamine between Washington state and British Columbia.
The emergency department at Port McNeill Hospital unexpectedly shut down on Friday evening due to a staffing shortage.
At least one building was destroyed Friday afternoon as firefighters rushed to a large fire at the vacant Pioneer Square Mall in Mill Bay, B.C.
A lawyer for families of victims killed in the Nova Scotia mass shooting says an 18-hour delay in finding five bodies of those murdered is a sign of "deficient" policing.
A Cape Breton father is warning the public of the dangers in the area he lives after his teenager son fell nearly 40 feet over a cliff in Glace Bay.
Two Muslim sisters in St. John's, N.L., are speaking out after a man approached them where they work, screamed at them and then smacked the 15-year-old sister across the head, nearly knocking her over.
The Ontario Provincial Police is closing its detachment in the town of Black River-Matheson. The building is approximately 90 years old and is located in Matheson on Railway Street.
A northern Ontario man says he jumped through several hoops and dealt with red tape as he tried to launch an inflatable water park on Ramsey Lake this summer.
Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) has honoured two people from Sudbury for their rescue efforts during last year's rescue at Totten Mine.
A man, who was a referee at high school volleyball games in Guelph for more than 30 years, is facing sex assault-related charges.
The Region of Waterloo says there's a high safety risk at a Kitchener encampment and they are working with residents to prepare them for their eventual move.
Two low-cost airlines are butting heads over an agreement at the Region of Waterloo International Airport. Swoop wants to offer flights but the airport already has an exclusivity deal with rival Flair Airlines