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COVID-19: Saskatchewan reports 890 cases, slight increase in wastewater levels

Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at a lab in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. Two more people in Newfoundland and Labrador have died from COVID-19 as hospitalizations due to the disease reach a new high. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Saskatchewan officials reported 890 new COVID-19 cases confirmed by laboratory PCR tests last week.

There were a total of 7,354 laboratory tests performed during the week of April 10 to April 16.

The province also reported 539 new lineage results, all of which were Omicron.

Read more: Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili, family test positive for COVID-19

The Omicron BA.2 sublineage accounted for 61.4 per cent of the variants of concern reported last week.

The province also reported 22 new COVID-19 deaths. The province said three of the deaths were those in the category of 69 years of age and younger and 19 were those 70 years and older.

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As of Wednesday there were 417 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 25 in the adult ICU.

Of the 417 patients, 225 have an incidental COVID-19 infection.

Read more: COVID-19: Saskatchewan 4th dose booster expansion now underway

Wastewater data reported this week by a team at the University of Saskatchewan shows a 25.5-per cent increase in the viral load in Saskatoon’s wastewater compared to last week.

The Omicron BA.2 variant made up 99.3 per cent of the virus detected in the Saskatoon wastewater.

Prince Albert wastewater data shows a 16.5-per cent decrease and North Battleford wastewater data shows a 20.1-per cent decrease.

In Prince Albert, 98.9 per cent of the viral load was Omicron BA.2 and in North Battleford 98.4 per cent was Omicron BA.2.

New treatment available

In addition to the antiviral Paxlovid treatment for those who test positive for COVID-19, another treatment option has been authorized by Health Canada.

The province said Remdesivir is an intravenous antiviral treatment for COVID-19.

“(Remdesiver) stops the virus from multiplying in cells which can help a body to overcome the infection and reduce the likelihood that you will require hospitalization for COVID-19,” the province said in a release.

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Officials said while this treatment has been provided in Saskatchewan hospitals, it will now be available on an outpatient basis, which requires three consecutive days of intravenous treatment.

Those who have a COVID-19 positive test result and meet the following criteria are eligible to receive Remdesiver:

  • Are immunocompromised or are 70 years and older with designated risk factors, regardless of vaccination status;
  • Are 18 years of age and older who are not fully vaccinated (which is 14 days following the completion of a primary, two-dose vaccination series);
  • Are not in hospital and/or require supplemental oxygen; and
  • Treatment needs to occur within seven days of a positive test and becoming symptomatic.

Those looking for a referral for Paxlovid or Remdesiver are asked to call HealthLine 811 to speak to a clinician.

The province added that while they support antiviral treatments for those who are at most risk for severe illness, the treatments are not a cure and do no prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Read more: Toronto Zoo to vaccinate 120 animals against COVID-19

“Vaccination remains the best tool available to prevent hospitalizations and death due to COVID-19. Immunization including your primary, two doses series plus a booster does not offer absolute protection against COVID-19 but improves your body’s defense against the virus.”

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According to the province’s weekly report, as of April 16, 85.8 per cent of the eligible population has received at least one dose of a two dose COVID-19 vaccine and 80.8 per cent have completed a series.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili, family test positive for COVID-19' Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili, family test positive for COVID-19
Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili, family test positive for COVID-19 – Apr 21, 2022

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