Saskatchewan passes 500 COVID-19 deaths, vaccine eligibility drops to 35 on Thursday

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Saskatchewan passes 500 COVID-19 deaths, vaccine eligibility drops to 35 on Thursday
Saskatchewan passes 500 COVID-19 deaths, vaccine eligibility drops to 35 on Thursday

Two more deaths linked to COVID-19 have pushed the total past the 500 mark.

The province announced two more deaths Wednesday to lift the total to 501 with two people in their 70s, one from the Regina zone and one from the Saskatoon zone. The number who have died in the Regina zone rose to 150, while 99 have died in the Saskatoon zone.

The province also announced that the eligible age to book a vaccine appointment will drop to 35 from 37 on Thursday, two days after the province revealed its reopening plan based on vaccination rates.

The province reported 196 new cases, which marked the first time since April 1 with two consecutive days below 200 new cases.

Unlike Tuesday’s 189 cases, which were the result of 2,513 tests, the lowest since mid-March, Wednesday cases were identified from 3,255 tests.

Of the new cases, 44 were recorded in the Regina zone, 40 in the Saskatoon zone, 31 in the south east (Weyburn, Estevan) and 17 in the north west (Lloydminster, North Battleford).

Another 250 recoveries were reported, dropping active cases to 2,250, the lowest since April 8. The province’s seven-day average of new daily cases dipped to 224, the lowest since April 5.

Total diagnosed COVID-19 cases in the province rose to 42,203.

Those in hospital with COVID-19 dipped to 171 with 39 patients in intensive care, 22 of which are in Regina. Fifty-five people were in hospital in Saskatoon, followed by 46 in Regina.

Sixty-six per cent of people aged 40 and older have now received at least one dose of vaccine with the first phase of the province’s reopening plan set to start three weeks after 70 per cent of that cohort have received their first dose.

In a news release, the province says that as of midday Wednesday, 6,000 vaccine appointments remained available. There are 11,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine available with 15,500 arriving this week for injection at pharmacies next week.

Another 8,000 doses are awaiting patients at drive-thru and walk-in clinics starting Thursday

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