Saskatchewan’s death toll at 404; 77 more coronavirus variant cases in Regina

Saskatchewan’s coronavirus-related death toll grew by three to 404 on the one-year anniversary of the province’s first reported case.

Two of the recently deceased who tested positive for COVID-19 were reported to be in their 70s in the Regina and south central zones, according to a press release.  The other person was reported to be in their 50s and in Saskatoon.

Read more: Reflections on the past year of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan

According to the provincial government on Friday, there were 176 new cases with the overall infection total in Saskatchewan now at 30,369. The new seven-day average of daily cases is down from 139 to 134, day-over-day.

Health officials urged people in Regina to take additional precautions due to an increasing community transmission of variants of concern (VoC), with 77 presumptive positive cases yet to be confirmed by genome sequencing.

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A total of 62 confirmed cases of B1.1.7, which was first discovered in the United Kingdom, had already been reported previously in the Regina area.

Click to play video 'Saskatchewan’s top doctor says all COVID-19 test samples to be screened for variants of concern' Saskatchewan’s top doctor says all COVID-19 test samples to be screened for variants of concern

Saskatchewan’s top doctor says all COVID-19 test samples to be screened for variants of concern

Officials are recommending the following for people in the Regina area:

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  • those that are over the age of 50 should consider not increasing their household bubbles to include two to three households up to 10 people. They should consider remaining with their current household only;
  • limit travel and shopping to essential purposes only;
  • stay home with even the mildest symptoms. Stay home if there’s been contact with anyone with mild symptoms;
  • get tested if a person has symptoms or they’ve been exposed to someone with symptoms; and
  • continue practicing physical distancing, frequent handwashing and wear a mask when in public places.

According to the press release, public health will be closely monitoring the situation for the next two to three days and will take additional measures if the numbers of confirmed positive cases of VoCs do not start to decline.

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Read more: Drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic opening in Regina for 64-year-olds on Monday

The province’s hospitals are currently providing care for 129 patients with COVID-19 — 102 are receiving inpatient care and 27 are in intensive care. Reported hospitalizations have not been below 130 since December 2020.

Active cases, which are total cases minus recoveries and deaths, now sit at 1,437 in Saskatchewan, according to the press release.

The number of people who have recovered from the virus has grown to a total of 28,528 following 131 more recoveries, provincial health officials said.

According to the press release, 2,990 COVID-19 tests were performed on Thursday. To date, 605,982 tests have been carried out in the province.

Starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 13, the SHA booking system will be expanding COVID-19 vaccine appointment options to include individuals 76 years of age and older.

Click to play video 'A timeline of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan' A timeline of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan

A timeline of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage, visit the Global News coronavirus web page.

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