Saskatchewan reports 439 new COVID-19 cases, breaking previous single-day record

Saskatchewan reported its highest single-day increase of COVID-19 on Saturday with 439 new cases, bringing the provincial caseload to 6,237.

The majority of the new cases are in Saskatoon, the province’s north and Regina.

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Below is a breakdown of where the new cases are located:

  • Far North West: 9
  • Far North East: 13
  • North West: 56
  • North Central: 43
  • North East: 11
  • Saskatoon: 170
  • Central West: 8
  • Central East: 13
  • Regina: 56
  • South West: 14
  • South Central: 18
  • South East: 19

The location of nine cases remains pending.

The amount of people in hospital has steadily risen throughout November. Saskatchewan has broken record after record almost daily throughout November, including on Saturday.

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There are 93 people in the hospital, 21 of whom are in the ICU.

The Opposition and health-care workers have sounded the alarm on the health-care system becoming too stretched and have asked for a circuit-break lockdown, but the government has neglected to take such action.

On Thursday, the province’s most recent measures came into effect, including a province-wide mask mandate and a limit of indoor private gatherings to five people.

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At the time, Minister of Health Paul Merriman said the province’s measures would have to be tried out for a week or two before further restrictions are implemented on businesses, despite the modelling suggesting it could be too late by then.

Days later, the Saskatchewan premier is saying otherwise, saying new measures are being considered and the government “will have more to say” next week.

“While it’s too soon for the new measures implemented last week to have made an impact, we are continuing to evaluate the situation closely and will consider further measures,” Premier Scott Moe said in a press release Saturday.

This is the second time in recent weeks the government has walked-back comments regarding measures that have been implemented.

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Earlier this week, the province’s chief medical health officer warned the province can not get to 200 cases a day. Dr. Saqib Shahab said this would translate to 600 to 1,000 cases a day in the following weeks.

As of Saturday, Saskatchewan is now averaging 203 new cases a day — the highest it’s ever been.

The government is attributing the 439 new cases to an increase in testing. However, the percentage of tests coming back positive have been higher than ever before.

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In the most recent data provided by the government, the test-positivity rate in the far north east last week was 14.1 per cent, and 12.1 per cent in the far north central region. In Saskatoon, the test positivity rate was 8.9 per cent and in Regina it was 4.2 per cent for the week of Nov. 11 to 17.

Premier Scott Moe has been promising since mid-September to test 4,000 people a day, saying its doable but also vital in keeping the economy open and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Two months later, the province finally hit the benchmark — there were 4,580 COVID-19 tests processed Friday.

There are 2,537 active COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan with a total of 3,667 people have recovered.

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