COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations down in Saskatchewan, deaths increase

Saskatchewan reported fewer new COVID-19 cases and hospitalization in its weekly report, but noted an increase in the number of deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML

New cases were down, but deaths were up as Saskatchewan released its weekly COVID-19 report.

In the seven days ending on March 12, the province reported 832 new cases through PCR testing. This is down from the 1,013 reported the previous week.

The report stated 6,826 laboratory tests were conducted during the week, with a test positivity rate of 11.8 per cent.

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Officials said the new case numbers should be interpreted with caution as it does not include cases detected by home rapid-antigen tests.

Saskatchewan has stopped performing PCR tests on the general population. Instead, PCR tests are only carried out on priority populations at elevated risk for severe outcomes.

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The province reported 28 new deaths, up from 13 the previous week. Of those, 22 were during the seven days ending March 12 and six were from previous weeks.

The majority of the deaths — 19 — were in people aged 80 and older.

The number of people in hospital continued to drop, with 299 total COVID hospitalizations as of March 16. That is down 40 patients from the previous report.

Officials said 134 patients were being treated for a COVID-related illness, 156 patients had an incidental COVID infection, and nine cases were still under investigation.

There were 18 patients being treated in intensive care, down from 24 the previous week.

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Ten new outbreaks were declared at long-term and care home settings.

There was no change in the percentage of people aged five and older who have received at least one dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

The province said that number held steady at 85.6 per cent of the population.

Among the population aged 18 and older, 51 per cent have now received at least one booster vaccination, an increase of 0.1 percentage points.

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The government ceased daily reporting of COVID-19 numbers in early February, moving instead to weekly reporting.

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