Saskatchewan reported 174 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. Three more residents have died due to the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
One of the people who died was in the 80 and older age group from the central west zone. Another was a person in their 60s from the far north west zone, and the third resident who died was in their 50s and from the far north central zone.
There have now been 414 deaths in the province due to COVID-19.
There are 21 new confirmed cases inovolving the more transmissible coronavirus variants of concern (VOC) in Saskatchewan.
There are now 156 confirmed cases involving those variants — 149 of the B117 variant, which was first detected in the U.K., and seven of the B1351, which was first detected in South Africa. The Regina zone accounts for 141, or 90 per cent, of the confirmed VOC cases reported in Saskatchewan.
There are also 508 presumptive VOC cases in the province, with one in the far northeast, 13 in Saskatoon, six in the central east, 434 in Regina, 30 in the south central and 24 in the southeast zones.
Regina has 85 per cent of all presumptive VOC cases.
Of the 31,259 known COVID-19 cases to date in the province, 1,345 are considered active.
The seven-day average of daily new cases in Saskatchewan is 128 — 10.4 new cases per 100,000 population.
The new cases Friday are in the following provincial zones:
Far northeast: three.
North central: eight.
Central east: 12.
South central: six.
Residence information is pending for five other new cases.
There are currently 133 people in hospital in the province due to COVID-19, including 27 in intensive care.
The province also reported 108 new recoveries. There have been 29,500 known recoveries in total as of Friday.
To date, 624,171 COVID-19 tests have been processed in Saskatchewan, 3,635 of which were processed on Thursday.
6,867 vaccinations Thursday
The province says 6,867 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered Thursday — the highest one-day total for vaccine delivery in Saskatchewan, according to Friday's update.
To date, a total of 125,062 have been administered in the province.
Of the doses administered Thursday, 2,107 were delivered at the Regina drive-thru clinic alone.
Reduce Regina COVID-19 transmission
The province says there is an elevated risk of COVID-19 in Regina due to community transmission of the variants.
The province recommends that Regina and area residents, particularly those over age 50, not increase their household bubbles, to include the two to three households up to 10 people allowed under current regulations. They should consider remaining with their current household only, the province says.
The province also says that while worship services in most of Saskatchewan will be able to expand as of March 19 to 30 per cent capacity or 150 people, whichever is lower, places of worship in Regina and adjacent communities will remain at the current capacity level of 30 individuals with physical distancing and masking guidelines in place.
This restriction will remain in effect until at least April 5.
The adjacent communities include Belle Plaine, Pense, Grand Coulee, Lumsden Beach, Regina Beach, Craven, Lumsden, Edenwold, Pilot Butte, White City, Balgonie, Kronau, Davin, Gray and Riceton.
All residents of Regina, those who work in Regina and area, and those who are planning travel to the region are asked to abide by personal protective best practices:
Wear your mask in all public places, including all workplaces.
Wash non-medical masks daily.
Maintain physical distancing.
Wash your hands frequently.
Reduce activities outside of your home.
Order takeout or curbside pickup.
If you are able to work from home, do so.
Avoid all unnecessary travel to and from Regina.
CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.