Sask.'s 1st monthly COVID-19 report details increase in confirmed outbreaks, hospital admissions

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Saskatchewan has released it first monthly COVID-19 epidemiology report.  (Alexander Quon/CBC News - image credit)
Saskatchewan has released it first monthly COVID-19 epidemiology report. (Alexander Quon/CBC News - image credit)

Saskatchewan's first monthly COVID-19 epidemiology report, released Thursday, says 27 people with the virus died from July 17 to Aug. 13.

The number of confirmed outbreaks in the province jumped to 46 in this reporting period from three in the previous three weeks.

Saskatchewan only tracks outbreaks at long-term care and personal care homes — or where the risk of severe health outcomes is the highest.

In those facilities outbreaks are declared when at least one person (a patient, resident or health-care worker) tests positive for COVID-19.

The month-long tally is different than any report prepared by Saskatchewan before.

Previously, the province released weekly reports. Most recently, it released a report looking at a three-week time period from June 26 to July 16.

Because the reporting periods are not the same lengths, the numbers don't exactly match up. However, reducing the data to a weekly rate does show a notable increase across multiple categories.

From July 17 to Aug. 13, the number of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 was 488, according to the report. During the three weeks in the previous reporting period, only 265 people were admitted.

That means during the latest report 122 people with COVID-19 were admitted to hospital per week, compared to the 88 per week in the previous period.

ICU admissions saw a slight total increase in the latest report, with the province reporting 27. There were 22 in the three weeks between June 26 and July 6.

The number of new cases also jumped in the latest report. There were 1,524 new confirmed cases recorded from July 17 to Aug. 13, compared to 628 new confirmed cases from June 26 to July 16.

That's about 381 per week recorded in the latest report compared to 209 per week in late June to mid-July.

Test positivity also saw an increase, jumping to the 7.4 per cent in the new report from 4 per cent in the previous one. However, since those figures only represent PCR tests and not the rapid antigen tests available to the general public, they are not a definitive representation of the spread of COVID-19.

The report does not include a snapshot of the current state of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, which means there is no public information on the number of people in the province's hospitals and ICUs with COVID-19.

CBC News has asked for a snapshot of data to be provided. That request has not been answered as of publication time.