There are 10 new cases of COVID-19 to report in Saskatchewan on Sept. 22, bringing the total to 1,824 reported cases. The new cases are located in the Far North East (1), Saskatoon (6), Central West (1) and Regina (2) zones.
Of the 1,824 reported cases, 146 are considered active. A total of 1,654 people have recovered, including nine more recoveries as of Sept. 22.
Two of the new cases reported today in the Saskatoon area are associated with the workplace outbreak previously identified at Brandt Industries. To date, there have been 19 cases linked to this cluster. The latest confirmed cases are from testing completed on close contacts of the employees and are not occurring in the workplace itself.
Investigations completed thus far have found that 24 of the 146 current active cases are from communal living settings.
A total of nine people are in hospital. Eight people are receiving inpatient care; seven of those are in Saskatoon, one is in Regina, and one person is in intensive care in Saskatoon.
Of the 1,824 cases in the province to date, 271 cases are travellers; 894 are community contacts (including mass gatherings); 528 have no known exposures; 131 are under investigation by local public health, and 69 cases are healthcare workers; however, the source of the infections may not be related to healthcare in all instances.
By age category, 306 cases involve people 19 years of age and under; 595 cases are in the 20-39 age range; 562 are in the 40-59 age range; 300 are in the 60-79 age range; and 61 are in the 80-plus range.
About 51 per cent of the cases are females and 49 per cent are males. Twenty-four deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported to date.
There are 439 cases are from the south area (222 southwest, 199 south central, 18 southeast); 359 cases are from the Saskatoon area; 358 cases are from the far north area (349 far northwest, 0 far north central, 9 far northeast); 271 cases are from the north area (131 northwest, 73 north central, 67 northeast); 235 cases are from the central area (173 central west, 62 central east), and 162 cases are from the Regina area.
To date, 175,405 COVID-19 tests have been performed in Saskatchewan. As of Sept. 20, when other provincial and national numbers are available from Public Health Agency of Canada, Saskatchewan’s per capita rate was 123,972 people tested per million population. The national rate was 178,204 people tested per million population.
A total of 1,641 COVID-19 tests were performed in Saskatchewan on Sept. 21.
Supporting COVID-19 Testing
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has been increasing testing capacity including enhancing staffing resources to better enable provincial laboratory teams to sustainably meet the goal of 4,000 COVID-19 tests per day.
• SHA labs are hiring 76 positions. To date, 27 people have been hired. Recruitment and training for the remaining positions is on-going.
Asymptomatic Pooled Testing:
• Starting this week, SHA labs will implement pooled testing of asymptomatic swabs, allowing laboratories to test more specimens with fewer testing materials, increasing testing output.
• Pooled testing means combining a number of specimens and conducting one laboratory test to detect COVID-19. If any pooled test produces a positive result, all samples within the batch will be retested individually before results are released.
Increasing GeneXpert Testing:
• The SHA will increase the number of GeneXpert tests being performed provincially from 200 per week to 1,200 per week in early October due to increased supplies from the vendor.
• The GeneXpert is a molecular testing platform located in more than 20 locations throughout the province, providing more immediate diagnostics on-site. It significantly expands testing capacity while improving turn-around times.