The number of active COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan is on the rise, but the province’s top doctor isn’t calling it a surge.
Saskatchewan reported 14 new COVID-19 cases for a second straight day Thursday. There have been 94 new cases in the province in the past seven days.
“We are trending upward but comparatively, after adjusting to population, we are not seeing the same surge that other parts of Canada and other parts of the world are seeing,” Dr. Saqib Shahab, the province’s chief medical health officer, said during a media conference.
Shahab said it is important the province continues to keep the curve as flat as possible as we transition into the fall and winter months.
There were five new cases recorded in the central-east zone, four in the Regina region, two in the southwest area and one in each of the north-central, northeast and south-central zones.
Shahab said Saskatoon, Regina and Yorkton have seen the largest rise in active cases over the past month.
There have been 14 cases related to an outbreak at a gym facility in Yorkton. More than 100 contacts were determined from contact tracing.
The number of active cases being reported is 144, including 61 in the Saskatoon area, 34 in the Regina region and 27 in the central-east zone around Yorkton.
The new cases reported Thursday raised the province’s total to date to 1,927.
The nine recoveries reported increased that total so far to 1,759. To date, 24 residents of the province have died after testing positive for COVID-19.
Seven people are in hospital receiving inpatient care, with four in Saskatoon, two in the southwest zone and one in Regina.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health reported there were 987 tests done after voluntary testing was offered at three high schools in the province — Regina’s Campbell Collegiate, Saskatoon’s Holy Cross High School and Prince Albert’s Carlton Comprehensive High School. The positivity rate in those tests was zero per cent.
A look at the numbers
There have been 444 cases from the south area (224 southwest, 201 south-central, 19 southeast), 393 in the Saskatoon area, 359 in the far north (350 far northwest, nine far northeast), 279 from the north (132 northwest, 79 north-central, 68 northeast), 264 in the central area (176 central-west, 88 central-east), and 188 in the Regina region.
The province’s total comprises 944 community contacts, 564 cases without a known exposure, 291 travellers, and 128 cases that are still being investigated
To date, 73 health-care workers have contracted the virus.
There have been 634 cases in the 20-to-39 age range, 589 between the ages of 40 and 59, 331 involving people 19 and under, 309 in the 60-to-79 age range, and 64 among those 80 and over.
There were 2,211 COVID-19 tests done in Saskatchewan on Wednesday. The province’s total to date is 193,006.
Shahab said testing is readily available throughout the province now.
Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone said the SHA is working on continuing to expand drive-through testing in the province. Regina and Saskatoon both have drive-through sites available.
“We do recommend that symptomatic patients phone 811 to get a referral because they need to immediately self-isolate, as well that we need to start that contact tracing immediately,” Livingstone said.
According to the government’s COVID-19 update, people with symptoms should call 811 and then they will get scheduled for a test 48 hours later. The release also says if a person is symptomatic, they should wait 48 hours before heading to a drive-through testing site.
“It’s related to the accuracy of the test and the onset of symptoms,” Livingstone said.
According to testing numbers released Thursday, there were 4,081 tests done on children and youth in Saskatchewan over the week that ended Sunday.
There currently are 34 active cases among children and youth in the province, comprising 22 in the Saskatoon area, six in the central zone, three in the Regina region, two in the south and one in the far north.