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Five things to know about the Oct. 13 COVID-19 report

COVID-19 numbers now included in an integrated report on the broad range of respiratory viruses.
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There’s a new way of reporting COVID-19 numbers, as well as for other respiratory viruses.

REGINA — The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health's released their first biweekly community respiratory illness surveillance program report for Oct. 13, covering the period Oct. 2-8, and these are five things you should know about it.

New way of reporting for COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses 

As of October 13, the Ministry of Health launched the CRISP report to integrate COVID-19 surveillance and reporting with provincial respiratory illness and surveillance reporting, including influenza. It standardizes epidemiological information required for respiratory illness surveillance and risk management, and will be issued bi-weekly through the respiratory illness season.

COVID-19 test positivity down

The latest report shows test positivity for COVID-19 has decreased from 11 per cent to 9.3 per cent, with the highest test positivity being 13.5 percent in the Southeast Weyburn-Estevan area.

For Oct. 2-8, the COVID-19 case count is 474, compared to 556 reported the week before. There are 17 reported COVID-19 outbreaks.

For influenza there were no lab confirmed cases reported, with the case count for those in the “other” respiratory virus category at 82, up six from last week. Test positivity of other respiratory viruses is four times that of COVID-19, at 36 per cent.

Of all respiratory pathogens this reporting period, 25.3 percent are rhinoviruses - common cold.

Hospital admissions going down

Hospital admissions for COVID-19 are also going down. The latest reporting period shows hospital admissions of 162, down 12 from last week, with 9 in ICU. The percent of staff in-patient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients is 11.1 per cent.

Deaths down last week

The number of deaths from COVID-19 last week were five, down from 11 the week before.

Vaccine uptake below 50 percent

The total eligible population with the up to date COVID-19 vaccine is 46 per cent. The total with up to date influenza vaccine is one per cent; the influenza shot campaign has just rolled out in the province starting Oct. 11.

The province has announced that starting on Monday, Oct. 17, Saskatchewan residents 12 years and older may receive the Pfizer bivalent vaccine through Saskatchewan Health Authority booked and walk-in clinics and clinics in First Nation and Métis communities operated by Indigenous Services Canada. Participating pharmacies are scheduled to start receiving Pfizer bivalent booster doses the week of Oct. 17; watch for pharmacy appointments to be available later that week.