COVID in Sask: 245 new cases, 1 more death, 221 recoveries

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Patients wait in a designated area after receiving their shot at the Saskatoon Tribal Council-run vaccination clinic inside SaskTel centre in Saskatoon on April 15. (Kayle Neis/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Patients wait in a designated area after receiving their shot at the Saskatoon Tribal Council-run vaccination clinic inside SaskTel centre in Saskatoon on April 15. (Kayle Neis/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Saskatchewan health officials are reporting another 245 new cases of COVID-19, based on 3,122 tests, as well as one more death.

The latest person to die in connection with the virus that causes COVID-19 was in their 60s and from the province's far northwest zone, which currently has 83 active cases.

The new cases announced Monday are located in the following regions: far northwest (10), northwest (17), north central (nine), northeast (one), Saskatoon (39), central west (four), central east (20), Regina (80), southwest (eight), south central (32) and southeast (25).

Saskatchewan's variants of concern caseloads stood at 6,204, with cases spread throughout regions as follows:

<cite>(Government of Saskatchewan)</cite>
(Government of Saskatchewan)

There remain only five identified cases of the more transmissible P1 variant of concern associated with Brazil, as has been the case for a week now.

Saskatoon wastewater shows big spike in viral load

Researchers regularly monitoring Saskatoon's wastewater for signs of COVID-19 are flagging a concerning spike.

From April 16 to 20, they noted a 312 per cent increase in the water's viral RNA load compared to the previous week.

<cite>(University of Saskatchewan)</cite>
(University of Saskatchewan)

"This rapid increase is expected to be predictive of a rapid increase in new cases in Saskatoon," according to the release.

"The last time viral load was comparable to these levels (November 2020), Saskatoon saw case numbers rise to more than 100 cases per day in the following weeks."

Health officials are also tracking lesser-known variants of interest, which have been associated with "reduced efficacy of treatments" and "predicted increase in transmissibility or disease severity."

As of the latest update, on April 16, there were 27 variant of interest cases in Saskatchewan, including 20 cases of a variant identified in California.

<cite>(Saskatchewan Health Authority)</cite>
(Saskatchewan Health Authority)

Saskatchewan's seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases is 251, or 20.5 new cases per 100,000 people.

There are 187 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 45 people under intensive care.

Only 3,639 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered on Sunday, which is low by recent standards.