COVID-19 in Sask: 358 new cases, largest daily increase in nearly 3 months
Province will consider whether more public health rules needed: Premier Moe
Saskatchewan is reporting 358 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the highest single-day increase in nearly three months.
On Jan. 15, 382 new cases were announced.
Premier Scott Moe said his government will consider over the coming days whether more public health measures need to be put in place.
"These numbers will be watched very, very closely," Moe said, adding that conversations with Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, will continue.
Moe said the province will get advice from Shahab on whether the stricter health orders in place in Regina should be extended out across the rest of the province. While Shahab provides advice, it's the government that ultimately decides on public health measures.
Moe said he had not yet spoken to Shahab on Friday.
The premier called the restrictions already in place throughout the province "significant" and called for people who are impatient for the pandemic to be over to remain vigilant.
"Over the course of these last number of weeks, we need to double down our efforts on the existing health measures," Moe said.
Regional change may be needed: Moe
Moe said officials would look at where the increase in cases is happening and decide on whether any regional steps are necessary.
The highest proportion of new cases announced Friday came from the Regina area, where rules were already tightened two weeks ago due to concerns about rising variant cases. The overall caseload was spread out regionally as follows: far northwest (six), northwest (30), north central (14), northeast (seven), Saskatoon (64), central west (three), central east (19), Regina (108), southwest (four), south central (eight), and southeast (63).
Moe said the province would also consider whether even stricter rules are needed in the Regina area.
"We haven't had those conversations yet, but I know we will," he said.
"We would hope that we'll be able to manage through this but we do have to ensure that we are ensuring the safety of Saskatchewan people," Moe said.
6 new deaths
Six new deaths were also reported Friday. One was in the 40 to 49 age group from the Regina area, four were in the 70 to 79 age group in the Regina (two), Saskatoon and southeast areas, and one was in the 80-and-over age group in the Regina area.
Saskatchewan's seven-day average for total new cases stands at 242, or 19.7 new cases per 100,000 people. The last time it was that high was in late January, near the end of Saskatchewan's deadly second wave.
Two hundred and six people are in hospital due to COVID-19 in the province, including 43 people under intensive care.
"There are younger people that are staying in hospital for a lengthier period of time," Moe said of recent COVID-19 data trends.
Variant cases update
Health officials have now identified 3,086 cases of COVID-19 variants so far in the province, an increase of more than 100 cases from Thursday.
Regina saw the highest day-over-day increase, with 2,189 variant cases now identified compared to 2,107 on Thursday.
The variant cases identified so far in Saskatoon held steady at 189.