Province changes variant reporting method Tuesday

·3 min read

On Tuesday the province changed the way variants of concern (VOC) of COVID-19 were reported. All cases that were previously awaiting confirmation were confirmed by the province.

“These have previously been reported as 'presumptive positives' but all screening tests will be considered confirmed VOCs for the purposes of public reporting and contact investigations. Please note that these VOC may have been initially identified via means other than screening (i.e. selection for whole genome sequencing without screening),” the release from the province explained.

Therefore, as of March 23, 891 variants of concern (VOC) have been identified by screening in Saskatchewan, reported in the Far North East, Saskatoon, Central East , Regina (763), South Central and South East zones. Regina far outpaces the other zones with 763 cases identified.

On Tuesday there were 204 new lineage results reported. Of the 360 VOCs with lineages identified by whole genome sequencing in Saskatchewan, 352 are B1.1.1.7 (UK) and eight are B1.351 (SA).

The Regina zone accounts for 312, or 87 per cent, of the VOC cases with confirmed lineage reported in Saskatchewan.

One death related to COVID-19 reported

There was one death related to COVID-19 reported on Tuesday. The person was in the 60 to 69 age group and in the South Central zone.

The number of deaths related to COVID-19 in the province is currently 419.

There were eight new cases of COVID-19 reported in North Central, which includes Prince Albert, on Tuesday.

This was among 150 cases reported overall in the province.

North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 36 active cases.

North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 38 active cases and North Central 3 has six active cases.

Regina reported the high in the province with 102 new cases.

One previously reported case with pending residence information has been assigned to the North Centra zones.

There are currently 152 people in hospital overall in the province. Of the 126 reported as receiving in patient care there are six in North Central. Of the 26 people reported as being in intensive care there are none in North Central.

The current seven-day average 158, or 12.9 cases per 100,000 population.

Of the 31,991 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, 1,472 are considered active.

The recovered number now sits at 30,100 after 152 more recoveries were reported.

The total number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic is 31,991 of those 7,931 cases are from the North area (3,216 North West, 3,450 North Central and 1,265 North East).

There were 3,209 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on March 22.

As of today there have been 636,484 COVID-19 tests performed in Saskatchewan.

There were 5,038 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered yesterday in Saskatchewan bringing the total number of vaccines administered in the province to 149,209.

There were 20 doses administered in the North Central reported. Doses were also administered in the Far North West, Far North East, North West, Central West, Central East, South West, South East, Regina and Saskatoon.

Regina outpaced the province with 2,948 vaccines delivered. Of the doses administered on Monday 1,873 were delivered at the Regina drive thru clinic.

Residents 67 years and older are encouraged to book their COVID-19 vaccination online or by phone.

Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald