REGINA — The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health's weekly COVID-19 integrated epidemiology (epi) report was issued Thursday, August 18 for the period running from July 17 to August 13, and there are a few things you should know.
COVID-19 increasing in Saskatchewan.
COVID-19 activity is up in Saskatchewan. The number of new cases for July 17-Aug. 13 is 1524 or 381 per week which compares to 628 or 209 per week for the period June 26 to July 16.
Compared to the previous reporting period, test positivity has increased from four to 7.4 per cent.
Central East and Saskatoon have the highest test positivity at 10 per cent.
While calls to 811 for respiratory-like symptoms are stable provincially, they increased in Regina and South East zones. Visits to emergency departments for respiratory-like symptoms have also increased.
Increase in outbreaks
Reported outbreaks in high-risk settings due to COVID-19 have increased. There are 46 confirmed outbreaks, compared to three for the last reporting period.
Hospital admission is up
Both COVID-19 hospital admissions and ICU admissions have increased. For the latest period hospital admissions is at 488, or 122 per week, which compares to 265 or 88 per week for the previous period.
ICU admissions are 27 or seven per week. That compares to 18 or six per week.
Reported deaths due to COVID-19 in Saskatchewan are 27, or an average seven per week, which is the same average as the last reporting period.
Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 dominant
Omicron sublineages BA.4/BA.5 are now the dominant sublineages detected in Saskatchewan. BA.4 and BA.5 have increased from 3.6 per cent for June 19-25 to 65.6 per cent for June 26-July 16, to currently greater than 90 per cent of detections.
Testing, treatment, and vaccination options
As of Aug. 12, the province reports more than 22.1 million rapid antigen test kits have been distributed in the province.
As of Aug. 13, there have been 89 Remdesivir prescriptions filled, with 216 infusions completed.
As of Aug. 14, pharmacies have dispensed 789 courses of Paxlovid.
45 per cent of the population have received at least three doses, and the province is urging more Saskatchewan residents to receive COVID-19 booster doses.
Effective Aug.15, individuals 18 years and older are now eligible for a second booster dose four months after their third.
According to the province, immunization remains the best protection against severe outcomes of COVID-19 including hospitalization and death.