COVID-19 in Sask: Active cases drop to lowest since November

·4 min read
Saskatchewan health officials are asking residents to do as much as possible to stop the spread of COVID-19.  (CBC - image credit)
Saskatchewan health officials are asking residents to do as much as possible to stop the spread of COVID-19. (CBC - image credit)

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan has dropped to its lowest level since November.

Saskatchewan announced Monday that there are 1,299 active cases in the province after an additional 207 recoveries were reported.

It's the lowest number of active cases since Nov. 9, the province confirmed.

Officials also announced that there have not been any COVID-19-related deaths since Sunday.

Saskatchewan recorded 110 new cases of COVID-19 on March 15.
Saskatchewan recorded 110 new cases of COVID-19 on March 15. (CBC Saskatchewan)

Only 110 new cases were reported Monday:

  • Three in the far north east.

  • Ten in the north west.

  • Five in the north central.

  • Eight in the north east.

  • Eleven in the Saskatoon region.

  • Ten in central east.

  • Two in central west.

  • One in the south west.

  • Six in the south central.

  • Fifty-three in the Regina zone.

  • One new case had no residence information.

Three cases were found to be out-of-province residents and were removed from the official count.

Variants of concern

In addition to the new cases, Saskatchewan provided an update on variants of concern in the province for the first time since Friday.

There remain 70 confirmed variants of concern in Saskatchewan: 64 of the B117 variant first detected in the United Kingdom and six of the B1351 variant first identified in South Africa.

However, the number of presumptive variants cases has nearly tripled since Friday.

On Friday there were 77 presumptive variants. On Monday that figure was 210 presumptive variants.

Most of those, 185, are in the Regina zone.

There is one presumptive variant case in the far north east zone, four in the Saskatoon zone, five in the central east region, 10 in the south central zone and five in the south east zone.

Spread in Regina a concern

The Queen City continues to be the region of most concern for the province.

Officials say many of Regina's outbreaks are a result of people going to work and public places while symptomatic with COVID-19.

The number of active cases and the increase in community transmission of variants has prompted health officials to ask Regina residents to commit to pandemic best practices.

  • Wear masks in all public places.

  • Maintain physical distancing.

  • Work from home if possible.

  • Wash hands frequently.

  • Avoid all unnecessary travel.

Regina residents — especially those over the age of 50 — are being asked to keep their household bubble to their current household only.

Residents should not consider increasing their bubble, officials said.

Other regions in the province have been allowed to include two to three households and up to 10 people in their bubble

Saskatchewan issues its COVID-19 update on Monday:

Vaccinations continue to increase

Saskatchewan reported administering 2,009 doses of COVID-19 on Monday.

That brings the total number of vaccines administered in the province to 104,424.

The province's COVID-19 vaccination online appointment system was expanded as of Monday morning.

Residents 70 and older are able to book an appointment provincewide, while residents 50 or older in the Northern Administrative District are also able to use the service.

The province announced that as of Tuesday phone appointments would be open to all remaining health-care workers eligible under Phase 1 of the province's COVID-19 plan.

Residents can use the province's online booking system or speak to a booking agent for help with their appointment over the phone. The call centre will operate 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. CST, seven days a week, and can be accessed by calling 1-833-SASK-VAX (1-833-727-5829).

Those eligible to book an appointment using the new online system will need a valid health card and a cellphone number or email address for notifications to be sent to.

Saskatchewan's first drive-thru clinic for COVID-19 vaccinations opened Monday in Regina at the Real Exhibition Association Ltd. grounds.
Saskatchewan's first drive-thru clinic for COVID-19 vaccinations opened Monday in Regina at the Real Exhibition Association Ltd. grounds.(Ethan Williams/CBC)

Late on Monday the province announced that it would be expanding the eligibility of its drive-thru clinic for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The clinic, which opened earlier in the day, is offering over 15,500 thousand doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.

It was originally open to 64-year-olds only. The province announced Monday afternoon that effective immediately 63-year-olds may also attend.

Be prepared for what could be a lengthy wait, with people sitting in their vehicles for as much as five hours on Monday.

As of Monday, there have been 30,727 cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, of which 29,021 people have recovered.

The province has administered 612,606 COVID-19 tests to date.