Saskatchewan health officials reported one death related to COVID-19 on Saturday.
The death was in the North Central zone and the age group is unknown. There have been 572 deaths related to COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.
The province also reported one new case in North Central, which includes Prince Albert. This was among a total of 42 cases reported in the province.
North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 18 active cases. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 11 active cases and North Central 3 has two active cases.
There are currently 61 COVID-19 patients in hospital across the province, with 52 receiving inpatient care and nine in intensive care.
The current seven-day average for new cases is 44, or 3.6 cases per 100,000 population. Of the 49,240 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan so far, 414 are considered active.
Another 16 recoveries were reported on Saturday, bringing the total number of recoveries to 48,224.
Since the start of the pandemic, 10,847 cases are from the North area (4,712 North West, 4,529 North Central and 1,606 North East).
There were 1,653 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan yesterday. As of July 9, there have been 932,412 COVID-19 tests performed in Saskatchewan.
There were 15,653 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in Saskatchewan over bringing the total number of vaccines administered in the province to 1,288,868. Over half a million Saskatchewan residents are now fully vaccinated.
All numbers were not available because the province no longer releases information in press release form on weekends.
636 total variants of concern identified in North Central
There are now 636 confirmed variants of concern (VOC) cases identified by the province in the North Central zone as of July 10.
This was among 12,268 variants of concern identified by screening in Saskatchewan to date. Other regions with identified cases included Regina, Saskatoon, Far North East, Central West, Central East, South West, South Central and South East. There are currently 82 cases with area of residency pending.
There are still 80 variants identified in the adjacent North East zone.
Regina led the province with 4,825 identified VOCs.
There were no new lineage result reported today. Of the 7,667 VOCs with lineages identified by whole genome sequencing in Saskatchewan, 6,911 are Alpha (B.1.1.7), 10 are Beta (B.1.351), 398 are Gamma (P.1) and 348 are Delta (B.1.617.2).
No changes expected as COVID-19 cases surge in Central Okanagan: Kelowna airport – Revelstoke Review – Revelstoke Review
With new restrictions announced specifically for the Central Okanagan today (July 28), the Kelowna International Airport (YLW) said they are not expecting any changes to their operations.
Senior manager of airport operations Phillip Elchitz said that with the COVID-19 safety plan already in place at YLW, they don’t expect much more to change.
Elchitz also said that they’re not expecting much impact on passenger numbers because of the new restrictions.
“YLW is not anticipating a reduction in commercial scheduled flights as a result of the new provincial health guidelines specific to the Central Okanagan,” he said.
“YLW currently has a mandatory mask policy in place for all areas of the Air Terminal Building and on aircrafts due to Transport Canada requirements.”
Individual passenger temperature is also checked just before they go through security as an added safety measure.
Earlier in the afternoon on July 28, the province announced that masks will be mandatory again in indoor public spaces throughout the Central Okanagan, which includes Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland and Lake Country.
The province is also discouraging non-essential travel to and from the Central Okanagan, especially for those who are not vaccinated or who don’t have both doses yet.
Nenshi says lifting Alberta’s remaining COVID-19 health orders is the ‘height of insanity’ – Global News
The mayor of Calgary says it’s the “height of insanity” that Alberta is moving ahead with removing almost all of its remaining COVID-19 public health orders, even as cases climb in the province.
Alberta has ended isolation requirements for close contacts of people who test positive and contact tracers will no longer notify them of their exposure. The province has also ended asymptomatic testing.
Further measures are to be eliminated Aug. 16. People who test positive will no longer be required to isolate. Isolation hotels will close as quarantine supports end.
“It is inconceivable to me. It is the height of insanity to say we don’t even know what’s happening,” Nenshi said Thursday.
“It is putting the health of Albertans at risk. To stop contact tracing, to stop testing people for the coronavirus and to become one of the first _ if not the first — jurisdictions in the world to say that people who have tested positive, who are infectious, can just go about their lives.”
Majority of Canadians worried about lingering COVID-19 threat, according to poll
Naheed Nenshi, who was making an announcement at the Calgary airport, said if he were in another jurisdiction he would be thinking hard whether to put travel restrictions on Albertans starting Aug. 16.
“I’m aware of no science that backs this up. It is clear for the last month or so on this file (that) our government has been grasping and struggling, just trying to get some good news out of something,” he said.
“To say we don’t want to know who has the coronavirus, we don’t want to track outbreaks. Even the most fervent of the anti-maskers wouldn’t say (to) unleash people who are actually infectious into the population.”
Nenshi said he worries that the decision to lift the health orders is politically motivated and has nothing to do with science at all.
“The only possible explanation here is a political one. It might be that they’ve run out of money, but you know what? Don’t spend $1.5 billion on a pipeline you know isn’t going to get built if you’re running out of money.”
© 2021 The Canadian Press
Businesses, tourism sector worried about impact of local virus restrictions in Central Okanagan – Kelowna News – Castanet.net
Come to the Central Okanagan, but only if you’re fully vaccinated.
That is the message from the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) and Tourism Kelowna after the provincial government announced new local steps Wednesday to try and lower COVID-19 cases.
A new regional mask policy was announced by Interior Health after 240 new cases of the virus were identified among Central Okanagan residents in the last week.
Along with the indoor mask mandate, the province is now discouraging non-essential travel into and out of the Central Okanagan for people who are not immunized.
TOTA says after an extremely tough 15 months they are concerned about how it might affect the industry, but she says it is a necessary step.
‘’I think the bigger concern is that if we don’t address it now and get things under control we will continue to lose ground. We have done so well up until now. I think that doing this to make sure that we nip it in the bud and we get a good rest of the summer and fall is very important,” said senior vice president Ellen Walker-Matthews.
Tourism Kelowna president and CEO Lisanne Ballantyne says the change will likely impact frontline staff the most.
“We know especially with having dealt with the haze and smoke recently that this is going to have an impact on our tourism businesses. Primarily it is going to be our frontline staff I’m afraid. These are the folks who are dealing with the public every day, and because this health order is only for the Central Okanagan, many travellers don’t realize that it is in effect and it is the frontline staff that have to do the education.”
The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce says the regional mandate has also caused some confusion amongst businesses.
“Earlier this year we were loud and clear along with chambers across the Interior when our numbers were extremely low we petitioned the province to do regional decision making because the rates were so high in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley they introduced the circuit breaker,” said Kelowna Chamber of Commerce president Dan Rogers.
“When they did that it had a massive impact on our businesses even though our rates were low. The line we heard from the province at that time was all of our decisions would be made province-wide and there won’t be any regionally based decision making. Now they have flip-flopped,” Rogers added.
The Interior’s vaccination rate is slightly lower than the provincial average, with 60 per cent of eligible people having received both doses, compared to B.C.’s 63.2 per cent.
Interior Health did not announce an end date for the new measure but says it will be in place for “at least 14 days.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau
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