There were three deaths related to COVID-19 reported on Friday in Saskatchewan.
There were two deaths reported in the 70 to 79 age group, one in Regina and one in South Central, the other death was reported in the 50 to 59 age group in the Saskatoon zone. The number of deaths related to COVID-19 in the province is currently 401.
There were 176 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the province on Friday.
The North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert, reported 11 new cases.
North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 40 active cases.
North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 41 active cases and North Central 3 has 22 active cases.
There are currently 129 people in hospital overall in the province. Of the 102 reported as receiving in patient care there are six in North Central. Of the 27 people reported as being in intensive care there is one in North Central.
The current seven-day average 134, or 11.0 cases per 100,000 population.
Of the 30,369 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan,1,437 are considered active.
The recovered number now sits at 28,528 after 131 more recoveries were reported.
The total number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic is 30,369 of those 7,653 cases are from the North area (3,115 North West, 3,354 North Central and 1,184 North East).
There were 2,692 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered yesterday in Saskatchewan bringing the total number of vaccines administered in the province to 98,571.
There were 815 doses administered in the North Central reported, the most of any zone in the province. Doses were also administered in the North West, Fare North Central, Central East, South East, Regina and Saskatoon.
As of March 12, 56 per cent of long-term care homes across Saskatchewan have now received their first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and are now fully vaccinated., 45 per cent of personal care homes have received both their first and second doses.
Province finds community transmission of variants of concern in Regina
The province is highlighting increasing transmission of COVID-19 variants of concern.
The province has 70 confirmed and 77 presumptive positive variants of concern. The 77 presumptive priorities and 62 of the confirmed positives are all in the Regina area.
Most of the variants are the UK strain. Only six are the South African strain. It’s been previously reported that five of those six were in the North Central zone.
The province is recommending that people over the age of 50 remain with their household and not increase their bubble to include two to three other households.
They’re also being asked to limit travel and hopping to essential trips only and stay home with even the mildest of symptoms or if they’ve been in contact with anyone with mild symptoms.
“Saskatchewan Health Authority is implementing increased testing and contact tracing and case management,” they said in a press release.
“Public health will be closely monitoring the situation regarding the transmission of Variants of Concern for the next two to three days and will be taking additional public health measures if the numbers of confirmed positive cases of Variants of Concern do not start to decline.”
The variants of concern have been shown to be more transmissible than the original COVID-19 strain. Vaccines are also less effective against some of the variants, though vaccines still enjoy solid efficacy rates against the UK variant.
COVID-19 Vaccine Bookings for 80 plus friday and 76 plus Saturday
Starting at 8 a.m. Friday, the Saskatchewan Health Authority Patient Booking System expanded COVID-19 vaccine appointment options to include individuals 80 years of age and older.
Vaccine eligibility options will be expanded again tomorrow, Saturday March 13 at 8 a.m., to include individuals 76 years of age and older.
People meeting this criteria can book their appointments online 24/7 using their health card at www.saskatchewan.ca/covid19-vaccineor call 1-833-SASKVAX (1-833-727-5289) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.
Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald