COVID-19: 7 new deaths reported, 472 more cases in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan reported seven new deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday, the highest daily amount since March 26 when eight deaths were reported.

Read more: SHA activates next surge plan level due to escalating COVID-19 cases

Provincial officials also reported 472 new cases on Friday.

Of the newly reported cases, 383 or 81 per cent are unvaccinated individuals, 25 or 5 per cent are partially vaccinated people, and 64 or 14 per cent are fully vaccinated.

The seven-day average of daily new cases has risen to 444, or 36.9 per 100,000.

Currently, there are 4,234 active cases across the province.

The 0-to-11 age group reported the highest amount of new cases again on Friday with 91.

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There are 223 people in hospital with COVID-19 as of Friday’s update, including 50 patients in ICU.

Read more: Declared COVID-19 outbreaks in Saskatchewan

A Saskatchewan Health Authority physician town hall held Thursday night said the highest test positivity rate in the third wave of the pandemic was 8.2 per cent. As of Friday, Saskatchewan’s test positivity rate is 12.6 per cent.

“(Saskatchewan) could become a seeding ground for new variants given high community transmission rates,” one slide read.

Another slide at the town hall indicated that every region in the province with the exception of the farthest north has a “high likelihood that COVID transmission is not controlled.”

On Thursday, Premier Scott Moe announced a number of new measures including an indoor mask mandate effective Friday and proof of vaccination or negative test at some businesses starting Oct. 1.

Click to play video: '‘Incredibly real’: Saskatchewan Health chief medical officer on COVID-19 burnout, protests' ‘Incredibly real’: Saskatchewan Health chief medical officer on COVID-19 burnout, protests

‘Incredibly real’: Saskatchewan Health chief medical officer on COVID-19 burnout, protests

At the town hall, physicians were told that due to the Delta variant and to avoid a lockdown in the fall, vaccination needs to rise above 85 per cent of the eligible population.

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According to data released during the town hall, 76.9 per cent of the eligible population has received their first dose in Saskatchewan and 68.8 per cent have received their second dose.

Contacts also need to be reduced to about 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels until vaccination is high enough to keep the population safe.

Maintaining physical distancing and limiting large gatherings were listed as recommendations to further limit spread.

Read more: Saskatchewan brings mandatory masks back, proof of vaccination coming Oct. 1

The town hall on Thursday night indicated Saskatchewan had the highest new COVID-19 daily hospitalization census in the country, followed closely by Alberta.

Health-care workers administered an additional 2,595 doses of COVID-19 vaccine since the province’s last report on Thursday.

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