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



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.

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.


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

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Are you planning to get a flu shot this year? –



Canada’s top doctor warns the country could be heading for its first typical flu season since the pandemic began, even as health systems are still battling the fourth wave of COVID-19.

Last year Canada was spared the brunt of flu season thanks to strict public health measures to protect against COVID-19.

Surveillance data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows higher rates of infection than expected for some of Canada’s most common seasonal viruses, including respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says a heavy flu season could put extra pressure on already fragile health-care systems.

She says this is definitely not the year to have influenza wreak havoc.

That’s why public health says it will be more important than ever that people get flu shots to avoid complications like pneumonia and protect hospitals from becoming overloaded.

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10,000 in Waterloo region eligible to get 2nd COVID-19 shot right now, official says –



More than 90 per cent of eligible residents in Waterloo region have had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

People who are 12 and up are eligible to get vaccinated, and able to get the second dose 28 days after the first, the Ontario government’s website says.

“To get second doses to 90 per cent, 20,683 second doses must be given. Out of those 20,000 people, approximately 10,000 are eligible now for their second dose and the remaining people will become eligible over the next month,” Vickie Murray, the region’s vaccine lead, said in a media briefing on Friday.

Murray said regional officials are pleased to see single doses reach the 90 per cent milestone, but they want to see second doses, which are at nearly 86 per cent, get there, too.

“Our goal is to continue to aim for the highest vaccination rates possible to protect our community from the spread of COVID,” she said.

As well, the region has given 5,854 third doses, offered to all people living in long-term care in the region.

Murray also announced Friday that as of Oct. 31, the vaccination at the Boardwalk in Waterloo will move to operating only between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. because those are the busiest times.

Vaccination bus motors on

The vaccination bus continues to be effective, Murray said. On Wednesday, she said 47 per cent of the doses given were first ones.

The bus will maked scheduled stops:

  • Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Cambridge Farmer’s Market.
  • Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 150 Main St. in Cambridge.
  • Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kitchener Public Library.
  • Thursday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Region of Waterloo International Airport in Breslau.
  • Sunday, Oct. 24 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sunrise Shopping Centre at 1400 Ottawa St. S., Kitchener.

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, the region’s medical officer of health, said Friday that case rates have been “stable or slowly decreasing trend in the last few weeks.”

“We need to continue our efforts to increase our community immunity over the coming weeks and months,” she said, adding the highly transmissible delta variant remains a risk in the region and could be easily spread between people, especially the unvaccinated.

Murray encouraged anyone who is eligible to get the second dose to do so as soon as they can.

“That is going to be the best way to ensure that you’re fully vaccinated,” Murray said.

If regional staff find that a lot of people are delaying the second dose, they will reach out to them directly through emails and phone calls — something staff also did over the summer.

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Horse race marks Sydney’s emergence from long COVID-19 lockdown



Thousands of Sydney residents flocked to a prominent horse race on Saturday, as Australia’s biggest city emerges from a strict COVID-19 lockdown and the nation begins to live with the coronavirus through extensive vaccination.

Up to 10,000 fully vaccinated spectators can now attend races such as The Everest in Sydney, Australia’s richest turf horse race, and the country’s most famous, Melbourne Cup Day, on Nov. 2.

New South Wales State, of which Sydney is the capital, reached its target of 80% of people fully vaccinated on Saturday, well ahead of the rest of Australia.

“80% in NSW! Been a long wait but we’ve done it,” New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet said on Twitter.

The state reported 319 new coronavirus cases, all of the Delta variant, and two deaths on Saturday. Many restrictions were eased in New South Wales on Monday, when it reached 70% double vaccinations.

Neighbouring Victoria, where the capital Melbourne has been in lockdown for weeks, reported 1,993 new cases and seven deaths, including the state’s youngest victim, a 15-year-old girl.

Victoria is expected to reach 70% double vaccination before Oct. 26 and ease its restrictions more slowly than New South Wales has, drawing criticism from the federal government on Saturday.

“It is really sad that Victorians are being held back,” said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Australia is set to gradually lift its 18-month ban on international travel from next month for some states when 80% of people aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated. As of Friday, 67.2% of Australians were fully inoculated, and 84.4% had received at least one shot.

The country closed its international borders in March 2020, since then allowing only a limited number of people to leave or citizens and permanent residents abroad to return, requiring them to quarantine for two weeks.

Australia’s overall coronavirus numbers are low compared to many other developed countries, with just over 140,000 cases and 1,513 deaths.

(Reporting in Melbourne by Lidia Kelly; Editing by William Mallard)

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