Shifting to a Monthly COVID-19 Reporting Schedule
In recent weeks, COVID-19 surveillance indicators suggest a decreasing trend in COVID-19 infections. As we move into the summer months, the Ministry of Health will be transitioning to monthly COVID-19 situation reports. There will be a weekly report released on June 30, and then the transition will begin. On July 21, a 3-week report will be released (reporting period of June 26 to July 16). The first monthly report will be released on August 18 (with a reporting period of July 17 to August 13). There will no longer be a news release announcing the release of the report. The epidemiological report will continue to be released at 1:30 p.m. on Thursdays monthly and will be posted on the Government of Saskatchewan website.
The Ministry and health sector partners will continue to monitor COVID-19 surveillance data and the frequency of reporting may be adjusted in the future based on observed trends.
“Saskatchewan residents should continue to do their own personal risk assessment over the summer,” Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said. “They should continue considering using a mask and improving ventilation if hosting a crowded indoor event; or better still, spend time outdoors during our great Saskatchewan summer. We will continue to ensure that people have access to information on a monthly basis, through detailed public health analysis, and more frequent reporting if concerning trends emerge. Meanwhile, please consider remaining up to date on your COVID vaccine, including any booster doses you are eligible for; which includes a booster dose for everyone 12 and older four months after their 2nd dose. And a 2nd booster for anyone 50 and older four months after their 1st booster; and even getting your 1st or 2nd dose if still unvaccinated.”
Weekly COVID-19 EPI Report
Issued Thursdays, the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 integrated epidemiology (epi) report utilizes multiple data sources and includes laboratory-confirmed cases, deaths, tests, vaccination information provincially and by zones, as well as hospital and ICU census trends and distribution of rapid antigen tests. The epi report this week looks at data from Sunday, June 12, to Saturday, June 18, 2022. The hospitalization data is a comparison from June 15, to June 22, 2022.
The integrated epi report can be found online at saskatchewan.ca/COVID-19-cases.
Summary for the week of June 12 – 18, 2022
- 5,635 laboratory tests were performed in Saskatchewan reflecting 4.7 tests performed per 1,000 population. The number of tests was lower than the number of tests in the previous week (5,880).
- The weekly test positivity of 4.0 per cent is lower than the previous week (6.5 per cent); the highest test positivity this week was in the South East zone (9.1 per cent).
- 231 new cases were confirmed reflecting 19 laboratory-confirmed cases per 100,000 population, lower than the number of new cases in the previous week (392).
- The majority of laboratory-confirmed cases this week continue to be 50 years and older (59.3 per cent).
- Due to a sequencing database issue, variants of concern (VOC) data is not available this week.
- The Omicron BA.2 sublineage accounted for 90.4 per cent of the variants of concern reported the week of June 5 to 11, 2022. BA.2 sublineage is more transmissible compared to pre-variant 2020 COVID-19 and BA.1 sub-lineages but there is no current evidence of increased severity.
- Omicron BA.4/BA.5 sublineages have been detected in Saskatchewan (dates of specimen collection May 22-29; n = 6 cases). BA.4/BA.5 have demonstrated increased transmissibility and vaccine escape, but there is no current evidence of increased severity.
- There were 12 newly-reported COVID-19 deaths (three within the week, and nine that occurred earlier (February 20, 2022 to June 11, 2022). This is a decrease from the previous week (17).
- There were 18.6 COVID-like illness patients per 1,000 emergency department visits which is a decrease from last week (20.5 per 1,000).
- Two (2) confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care and care home settings were reported this week.
- Immunization rates for primary series and booster uptake have remained stable over the last four weeks. Of the eligible populations five and older, 81.1 per cent have completed a series.
- Among the population 18 years and older, 52.7 per cent had received at least one booster vaccination.
- As of June 19, 2022, there have been 557 Paxlovid prescriptions filled, and there have been 43 Remdesivir prescriptions with a total of 121 infusions completed.
- Almost 21.4 million rapid antigen test kits have been distributed in the province. They are easily accessible at more than 600 locations.