Saskatchewan experiencing resurgence in COVID-19 cases, expected to last until June

Modelling and projections seen by Dr. Saqib Shahab suggest cases may start coming down near the end of May or early-June, or there may be a bit of a resurgence again and then come down by mid-June. Pool camera

Saskatchewan is seeing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, according to chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab.

Modelling and projections seen by Shahab suggest cases may start coming down near the end of May or early June, or there may be a bit of a resurgence again and then come down by mid-June.

Shahab said it is difficult to make predictions, but we should expect to see waves that vary intensity if Omicron is the variant that is circulating.

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“For example, we may see a bit of rise in this now and then it may quiet down over the summer, then a resurgence in the fall,” Shahab said.

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“Hopefully this will be manageable in terms of not overwhelming the health system,” Shahab added.

The government’s weekly epi report showed there were 1,032 new COVID-19 cases confirmed by laboratory tests between March 27 and April 2.

Officials reported 440 variants of concern identified, all of which were Omicron.

Of the new variants of concern reported, 21.4 per cent were Omicron BA.2.

The province also reported 24 new COVID-19 deaths.

On April 6, there were 354 patients in hospital with COVID-19, including 20 patients in the ICU.

Of the 354 COVID-19 positive patients, 177 have incidental infections.

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Shahab said there are eight patients under the age of 20 in hospital with COVID-19, four of whom were admitted for another health reason but tested positive.

With no restrictions in place and people wearing masks less, Shahab added there may be a bit of a surge in influenza cases.

The province will also be discontinuing the use of a monoclonal antibody known as Sotrovimab, which is given by intravenous infusion.

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Sotrovimab has been used to treat mild COVID-19 to prevent serious outcomes.

As recent clinical studies have shown reduced efficacy against Omicron’s BA.2 subvariant, Sotrovimab use will be discontinued after Thursday.

The paxlovid pill will continue to be available for eligible patients who test positive for COVID-19. Paxlovid is an antiviral medication that helps prevent COVID-19 from spreading in your body as well as prevents serious outcomes, including hospitalization.

Shahab said an announcement should be coming next week detailing the eligible population for a second booster shot.

Second booster doses have been offered to some residents in long-term, personal care homes and assisted living facilities, according to Shahab.

“We already know that getting your first booster is good, but four to six months after your first booster, especially if you’re older (and/or) at high risk, a second booster can help,” Shahab said.

As of April 2, 85.7 per cent of the eligible population has received at least one dose of a two-dose vaccine series, and 80.7 per cent have completed a series.

Of those 18 and older, 51.4 per cent have received a booster dose.

Shahab said its never too late to get a booster and said he encourages his friends and family to do so.

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For those wondering if they should get a booster after having COVID-19, Shahab said the answer is yes.

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“Even though you got COVID at some point in the past, you can wait anywhere from two weeks to three months — we say get a booster any time your symptoms are gone, wait about two weeks.”

Shahab said residents shouldn’t delay their booster dose more than three months after having COVID, even if they are fully vaccinated.

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