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HomeHealthSaskatchewan's COVID-19 Battle Continues Despite National Decline

Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 Battle Continues Despite National Decline

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While Canada’s fourth wave of COVID-19 appears to be trending downward, the same cannot be said for Saskatchewan.

Right now, new infections have stalled, but mounting pressure on Saskatchewan’s health system means the province must impose more protective measures to delay hospitalizations and deaths, experts say.

“Well, at this stage, I think collecting restrictions is the next highest priority,” said Dr. Cory Neudorf, Acting Senior Medical Officer for the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

“The analysis of where the cases are coming from at this time, still comes largely from domestic transmission and that type of group meetings, that is why more restrictions are requested for the next few weeks.”

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The request comes after Saskatchewan recorded 11 COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday, which coincides with the one-day maximum set in December. February 12, 2020. Five new deaths were recorded on Thursday.

As of Thursday, 335 people were being treated at the hospital, 75 of whom are in intensive care. Of the total number of hospitalizations, 74.9% were not fully vaccinated.

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11 COVID-19 related deaths reported in Saskatchewan

With these developments, Saskatchewan health officials said they are prepared to send critical COVID-19 patients to Ontario.

Additionally, Saskatchewan stopped all elective surgeries, began canceling urgent surgeries, and admitted adults to its children’s hospital. In addition, more than 160 health workers have been reassigned.


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To help defuse the surge, officials have reintroduced public health measures for several weeks, including the mandatory use of indoor masking, proof of vaccination and mandatory self-isolation.

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Even retired police officers are being brought in to help enforce public health orders, the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency said Wednesday.

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Those options were defended by Health Minister Paul Merriman at a press conference on Thursday.

“We have had restrictions … but again, public health measures are not necessarily going to solve all problems, this is a remedy,” he said.

“The best tool we have in this is our vaccines. Last year around Thanksgiving time, we implemented a lot of public health measures, but then we didn’t have vaccines and now we do. “

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However, Saskatchewan’s vaccination rate is not high enough for vaccines alone to protect the population, Neudorf said.

At this time, 85 percent of the eligible population is partially vaccinated, while 76 percent are fully vaccinated. In Canada, those figures stand at 88 percent and 82 percent, respectively, according to covid19tracker.approx, a tool administered by a student at the University of Saskatchewan that is based on official updates from each province.

“Until a sufficient level of population immunity is reached, a combination of other restrictions is still needed as an interim measure until vaccines can do their job,” Neudorf said.

“So it is not a question of one or the other, it is a question of maintaining appropriate levels of public health measures until that critical mass of immunization coverage is reached, and we have not yet reached Saskatchewan.”

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Among the provinces, Saskatchewan has the highest rate of active cases at 375 per 100,000 residents as of Wednesday.

The province, which has a population of just over 1.1 million, lags behind the Northwest Territories for the highest rate of active cases per capita in Canada. The territory has an active case rate of 740 per 100,000 inhabitants and has a population of 45,000 people.

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Saskatchewan’s current wave of COVID-19 stems from the summer, when the province eased public health measures.

At the time, the weekly average of daily cases was 43 and it continued to fall after the restrictions were lifted. However, as time passed, the Delta variant increased those numbers.

Not only has the case count increased, but so has the number of deaths and hospitalizations. When the province eased restrictions in July, Saskatchewan’s total death count was 573.

Since then, 196 more residents with COVID-19 have died, bringing the total to 769 as of Thursday according to covid19tracker.ca.

On July 28, 43 people were hospitalized with COVID-19. Now 335 are hospitalized.


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While the province introduced renewed measures, Prime Minister Scott Moe has rejected calls to reimpose collection restrictions on the province and faced criticism for not doing so before the long Thanksgiving weekend.

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“We are not going to implement broad-based restrictions on the 80 percent of the population that went out and got their first chance,” he said during a briefing last Thursday.

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The province will see in a few days whether the Thanksgiving gatherings will have an impact, Neudorf said.

“There were a lot of messages from doctors, from various organizations, from the health authority asking people to limit those meetings regardless,” he said.

“I always think it’s most effective when that’s also backed by government-announced restrictions.”

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Dr. Katharine Smart, president of the Canadian Medical Association, told Global News that long-term health problems could further strain the healthcare system as a result of this wave.

“Trying to limit the number of people infected is critical because the price is not just the short-term impact on hospitals, which has reached a critical point, but also the ongoing stressors in the health care system.” , said. said.

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“So when you put all of this together, you are really taking things into a much more critical area.”

– With files from David Giles

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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