Sask. reports 221 new COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths
REGINA -- The Saskatchewan government confirmed 221 new COVID-19 cases Friday, along with 225 recoveries and two deaths.
One person who died was in their 60s and from the Northwest zone; the other person was in their 40s and from the Southeast. The have been 462 COVID-related deaths in the province since the pandemic began.
The new cases are in the Far Northwest (five), Far Northeast (five), Northwest (21), North Central (eight), Northeast (four), Saskatoon (25), Central West (one), Central East (11), Regina (57), Southwest (18), South Central (25) and Southeast (25) zones. Sixteen of the new cases have pending residence information.
Active cases continue to climb in the Southeast and Southwest zones. Since Easter Sunday, active cases in the Southeast have increased from 202 to 286; active cases in the Southwest have increased from 19 to 84.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) issued a warning this week about an increased risk of transmission in Southwest and South Central zones due to large outdoor gatherings.
According to the SHA, 40 cases have been linked to a “recreational party in the community” in Maple Creek – where health officials declared an outbreak – as of Thursday morning.
There are 190 people in hospital across the province; 44 people are in the ICU. People receiving intensive care are in the North Central (one), Saskatoon (nine), Central East (one), Regina (30), Southwest (one) and South Central (two).
The seven-day average of new daily cases is 264 and there are 2,603 active cases in the province.
There were 3,739 tests processed in Saskatchewan on Thursday.
VARIANTS OF CONCERN
The province identified 143 more variants of concern (VoC) on Friday; 4,326 VoC cases have been identified by screening in Saskatchewan so far.
The VoC have been reported in the Far Northwest (11), Far Northeast (two), Northwest (57), North Central (49), Northeast (four), Saskatoon (385), Central West (44), Central East (158), Regina (2,731), Southwest (70), South Central (349) and Southeast (419) zones.
The province said labs confirmed the lineage of 277 VoC cases Friday. So far, 1,712 VoC have been confirmed through whole genome sequencing.
The dominant variant in Saskatchewan continues to be B.1.1.7, the strain first identified in the U.K., with 1,703 cases identified. Nine cases have been confirmed as the B.188.8.131.52 variant, which was first identified in South Africa.
The province said 8,168 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered Thursday.
The shots were given in the Far North West (11), Far North Central (one), Far Northeast (134), Northwest (452), North Central (463), Northeast (60), Saskatoon (2,532), Central West (78), Central East (740), Regina (2,468), Southwest (65), South Central (529) and Southeast (437); 198 doses were administered with zone of residence pending.
The province also expanded eligibility for some healthcare workers who work in clinical care.