Saskatchewan

COVID-19 in Sask.: Hospitalizations continue to climb

COVID-19 hospital numbers continue to climb in Saskatchewan as the contagious Omicron variant continues to spread across the province.

252 in hospital Sunday, up from 244

As of Sunday, there are 1,629 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 109,484 reported cases, according to the province. (CBC)

COVID-19 hospital numbers continue to climb in Saskatchewan as the contagious Omicron variant spreads across the province.

The number of people in hospital has climbed from 244 yesterday to 252 on Sunday, according to the daily update on the province's online dashboard.

26 of the hospital cases reported today are in intensive care, the same as announced on Saturday.

This month the province started tracking hospitalizations as a key indicator of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, breaking down how hospitalized people contracted the virus.

Of the 226 inpatient hospitalizations, excluding people in ICU, 92 patients are receiving health care due to a COVID-19-related illness, 98 are incidental cases — meaning they were admitted for something else, then diagnosed with COVID — and 36 have not yet been determined, according to the province's dashboard on Sunday.

Even when people are in hospital for other reasons than COVID-19, the disease can make care more complex, according to Saskatchewan's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab.

"Once you're hospitalized, you still require additional layers of infection prevention and control because you still want to minimize transmission of COVID from one patient to another or to staff," said Shahab on Friday.

"It does definitely create a higher workload for staff."

Out of all 252 hospital patients with the illness, over 36 per cent were not fully vaccinated, according to the province's dashboard.

Shahab and recent modelling from the Saskatchewan Health Authority predict that hospital numbers will continue to increase in the weeks ahead.

Case numbers up, but test numbers down

The number of known active cases have also gone up on Sunday (from 12,618 to 13,290), as well as the seven-day average of new cases (1,320, up by 26).

On Sunday the province reported 1,629 new COVID-19 cases, another record in the daily new cases category. 

However, it's believed the number of new cases is actually higher because the PCR testing criteria in Saskatchewan has become more strict and self-administered rapid tests aren't included in the total.

The reported new test numbers were down on Sunday, according to the province.

Health-care workers administered 3,869 COVID-19 tests, 725 fewer than reported on Saturday.

According to Sunday's update, 1,962 more people have received their first or second COVID-19 vaccines. Overall, 885,917 residents of Saskatchewan are now considered fully vaccinated.

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