Sask. adds 130 new COVID-19 cases; 1 more death

The Saskatchewan government recorded 130 new COVID-19 cases and one more death on Wednesday, along with 116 recoveries.

The person who died was in their 70s and from the Northwest zone.

The new cases are located in the Far Northwest (eight); Northwest (13); North Central (eight); Northeast (seven); Saskatoon (46); Central West (one); Central East (two); Regina (22); Southwest (two); South Central (12); and Southeast (seven). Two more cases are pending location information.

  Sask. COVID-19 Active Case Locations Infographic
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There are 103 people in hospital across the province – the lowest number since Nov. 22, 2020, according to the government’s COVID-19 dashboard. Twenty-two of those people are receiving intensive care in the Northwest (one); North Central (three); Saskatoon (10); Central East (one); Regina (six); and South Central (one) zones.

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases is 131. There are 1,285 active cases in the province.

VARIANTS OF CONCERN

Labs identified 38 more variant cases, according to the government. The province said 10,812 cases have been marked as variants of concern (VoC).

The government reported 81 new lineage results Friday. Of the 5,794 VoCs with a variant type identified by whole genome sequencing, 5,594 are B.1.1.1.7, which was first identified in the U.K.; 159 are P.1, the variant first seen in Brazil; 31 are the B.1.617 variant identified in India; and 10 are B.1.351, first identified in South Africa.

VACCINATIONS

There were 9,299 doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered across Saskatchewan on Tuesday.

So far, 66 per cent of people age 18 and older have received their first dose and 63 per cent of those 12 and over have received their first shot.

  Sask. Vaccination Doses By Age Group
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The province is expecting a shipment of 74,880 Pfizer doses to arrive today

65+ AGE GROUP ELIGIBLE FOR 2ND DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINE

Second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are available in Saskatchewan for residents age 65 and older or anyone who received their first dose on or before March 22, as of 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Other individuals who are eligible for their second doses – including anyone diagnosed with or being treated for cancer, or anyone who has received a solid organ transplant – will receive a letter.

Appointments can be made over the phone by calling 1-833-SASKVAX (727-5829), through the province’s online booking portal, or with a participating pharmacy.

SASK. TO MIX AND MATCH COVID-19 VACCINES

The province said it will follow new guidance from Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccine second doses.

NACI changed its guidelines to allow for mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday.

Federal health officials announced the updated guidance, saying that a first dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford/COVISHIELD vaccine can be followed up with a second AstraZeneca shot, or be safely combined with a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shots "unless contraindicated."

The province said not all vaccine types will be available at all clinic locations. Vaccine types will be listed when immunization clinics are advertised on the government’s website.

PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS COULD LIFT AS EARLY AS JULY 11

The Saskatchewan government has updated its reopening plan to include a COVID-19 vaccination threshold that would trigger the removal of all remaining public health orders, including the mask mandate and gathering limits.

The government says it will lift public health orders three weeks after 70 per cent of people age 12 and older have received their first dose – and at least three weeks after the beginning of Step Two.

If that threshold is reached by June 20, the province says all restrictions could be lifted by July 11.