Sask. has lowest active COVID-19 cases per capita in western Canada
REGINA -- Saskatchewan’s active COVID-19 case numbers are now some of the lowest in Canada, after peaking in July.
On July 29, the province saw a record high 322 active cases. Just under a month later, those numbers have been on a steady decline, with 44 active cases as of Friday.
"We have the lowest active case rate in Western Canada at five active cases per 100,000 population. The current Canadian rate is 13 active cases per 100,000," Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Health Officer, said.
Saskatchewan’s active case numbers have dropped every day for 12 consecutive days, going from 193 on Aug. 16 to 44 on Friday. The province has had 34 new cases and 178 recoveries over that span.
The seven-day average of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in Saskatchewan is the lowest west of the Maritimes. The province is currently averaging 0.25 positive cases per capita over seven days, which has dropped from 2.96 at its peak on July 27 when the province it was the highest in the country.
"Right now, we are in a position that we don’t have unexplained community transmission and this is so important to keep it that way because this will then have a positive impact on school reopening and more people going back to work," Shahab said.
With the province preparing for students to head back to school in just over a week, the Saskatchewan Health Authority is working on increasing the province’s testing capacity.
Testing is universally available and the SHA is setting up drive-thru testing sites in Regina and Saskatoon.
"We’re also looking at how we can use more of a hybrid model even provincially," SHA CEO Scott Livingstone said. "We have 50 sits across the province that do testing and assessment and we may look at options to actually do drive up and drive-thru in those sites as well."
Saskatchewan performed 1,561 tests on Thursday. Premier Scott Moe stated earlier this month that the province is working towards a 4,000 test per day capacity.