COVID-19 hospitalizations in Saskatchewan have been declining, with 390 people in hospital with the disease as of Wednesday, provincial figures show.
That was a decrease from last week's report at 409 people in the hospitals. The previous week had marked an all-time high at 417.
Thursday's update showed there were 36.4 COVID-like illness patients per 1,000 emergency department visits, a decrease from the average weekly rate in the previous six weeks (37.3 per week/1,000 visits).
Two weeks ago, the province was reporting 39.5 COVID-like illness patients per 1,000 emergency department visits.
Of those in hospital with COVID-19, 20 were in intensive care, the same number as the last weekly COVID report.
The province says in its release that 766 new cases were confirmed by laboratory tests in the final week of April.
14 new COVID deaths reported
The province reported 14 new COVID-19 deaths in its weekly update. Ten occurred within the week of April 24-30, and four occurred in previous weeks (Feb. 20-April 18), but were reported this week, according to the province.
Two of the newly reported deaths were among people 59 years and younger, including the death of an individual in the 20- to 39-years-of-age cohort. Four were among people 60 to 69 years of age. Eight were among those 70 years or older.
Men made up almost 60 per cent of the deaths. Of the total deaths, five were reported in the Saskatoon region.
There have been a total of 1,324 COVID-related deaths from March 8, 2020, to April 30, 2022, in Saskatchewan, according to the province.
There were 17 confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities and care home settings in Saskatchewan reported between April 24 and 30.
"Overall in Saskatchewan, the rates of COVID-19 hospitalization, ICU admission and deaths are higher among people who are unvaccinated than among people with two or three vaccinations," the release said.
The latest wastewater study from the University of Saskatchewan shows a decline in Saskatoon's COVID-19 viral load while significant increases for North Battleford and Prince Albert.
On Monday, researchers released their latest report, which showed a 12.8 per cent decrease in viral load taken from sewage samples in Saskatoon up to April 27 compared with the previous weekly period.
The study said it was the second successive week of declines, but "the viral load is still large with the fourth greatest amount ever observed in Saskatoon."
BA.2 subvariant of Omicron continues to drive the wave with its presence of 99.5 per cent of SARS-CoV-2 RNA load in Saskatoon's wastewater.
However, the viral RNA load in North Battleford's wastewater has increased by 51.5 per cent up to April 22 compared with the weekly average of the previous week.
It was the second successive week of increases, with the viral load of 280,000 copies per 100 millilitres being the greatest load ever measured for North Battleford. BA.2 subvariant of Omicron remained as the dominant strain.
The situation is similar for Prince Albert where the viral load increased by 108.1 per cent in the reporting period up to April 25 as compared to the previous week.
"This is the second increase in a row and with a total of 500,000 copies/100 mL, represents the second greatest viral load ever measured in Prince Albert," the study read.
"This is only slightly less than the maximum observed during the initial surge of the Omicron wave, 11 weeks ago."