The Saskatchewan government has released its most specific information yet on how seriously COVID-19 is affecting children who remain ineligible for vaccination.
In August, one infected child under the age of 12 was placed under intensive care (ICU), according to new statistics released on Tuesday by the Ministry of Health.
While parents and the Opposition Saskatchewan NDP have called on the province to more precisely detail how many ineligible youth have been hospitalized with the disease, daily, weekly and monthly releases have stuck to grouping together case numbers among people aged 0 to 19 without any further age breakdown. They have also not included hospitalization figures.
Tuesday's release finally provided a window into those numbers.
Six kids 11-and-under hospitalized in August
In August, Saskatchewan reported a total of 4,596 cases of COVID-19.
Of those, 793 (17.3 per cent) were among children aged 11 and younger.
Of the 189 people hospitalized with COVID-19 during August, six were under 12 years of age. Of those, one was placed in an ICU.
An accompanying monthly release posted on the government's website on Tuesday provided an age breakdown of the patients in hospital five days ago, on Sept. 2.
Of the 137 COVID-19 patients in hospital that day, only one was aged 11 and under. While infectious with COVID-19, they were not in ICU.
The monthly releases also illustrate how the fourth wave of COVID-19 has driven up the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19.
There were 83 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in all of July — the same month a decline in COVID-19 cases prompted the Saskatchewan government to lift all public health restrictions — compared to 189 in August, when cases began to rise again amid the fourth wave:
May 2021: 191 hospitalizations.
June 2021: 102 hospitalizations.
July 2021: 83 hospitalizations.
August 2021: 189 hospitalizations.
The summaries for May, June and July did not break down how many of the hospitalized people were children under the age of 12.