COVID-19 in Sask: Province records lowest daily case increase in 3 months

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Saskatchewan health officials reported 80 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the lowest daily increase in new cases in three months and the first to dip below 100 since the end of December.

The results were based on 1,910 tests performed Monday, well below the province's stated target of 4,000 tests a day and also below an average of 2,625 tests processed each day over the previous week.

Saskatchewan has also experienced particularly frigid temperatures in recent days, which has affected testing availability in at least one area. The Saskatchewan Health Authority said its Prince Albert drive-thru testing site was closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday "due to the continuing extreme cold weather in the area."

The last time officials reported such a low daily increase was Nov. 2, when only 72 cases were reported. The last time the numbers dipped below 100 was Dec. 28, when 96 cases were recorded.

Daily new case numbers have zigzagged between the 100s and 200s recently, with the seven-day average being 203 as of Tuesday.

5 new deaths

Five more COVID-related deaths were also announced Tuesday:

  • One in the 60 to 69 age group from the far northwest zone.

  • Two in the 80+ age group from the north central zone.

  • One in the 80+ age group from the Saskatoon zone

  • One in the 80+ age group from the southeast zone.

These bring the province's COVID-19-related death tally to 346.

Government of Saskatchewan
Government of Saskatchewan

One hundred and eighty people infected with COVID-19 are in hospital in the province, with 26 under intensive care.

Province leads country in active cases

According to Health Canada, Saskatchewan led the country in terms of active cases per 100,000 people as of Monday.

Saskatchewan had an average of 184 active cases per 100,000 people, compared to the national average of 106.

Health Canada
Health Canada

The province announced 253 recoveries Tuesday, bringing the total known recoveries to 23,282.

Vaccine update

Officials said that while Health Canada now approves of six doses being extracted from each vial of the PfizerBioNTech vaccine, that change will not take effect until next week and that "this week's shipment of Pfizer to the province will continue to be counted as five doses per vial."

"Due to this change, the Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Authority are currently examining the potential impact to vaccine distribution plans," officials said in the province's daily COVID-19 news release.

There were 1,252 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered Monday in Saskatchewan, bringing the total in the province to 44,521.