Saskatchewan adds 7 coronavirus deaths as 3rd case of U.K. variant detected

The provincial government says a third case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, which was first discovered in the U.K., has been detected in Saskatchewan.

Officials said the contact investigation has determined that the Saskatoon zone resident travelled from southeast Asia. They added the individual was tested in mid-January, quarantined following their travel and is now no longer infectious.

There is no indication of further transmission, according to public health’s contact investigation.

Read more: Increased COVID-19 risk at Saskatoon restaurant, St. Louis community events

While tests must currently be genome-sequenced at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Manitoba and take one or two weeks, the government said the Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory is planning to increase its capacity in Saskatchewan.

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Click to play video 'Answering your COVID-19 questions, Feb. 4' Answering your COVID-19 questions, Feb. 4

Answering your COVID-19 questions, Feb. 4

Meanwhile, seven more people who tested positive for COVID-19 have died, bringing Saskatchewan’s total up to 329.

Two of the recently deceased were reported in the 80-plus age group from the Saskatoon zone, according to a press release. There were also: one in their 70s from south central; two in their 60s from north west and Saskatoon; and two reported in their 50s from the far north west and north west.

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According to Thursday’s update, there were 250 new cases with the overall infection total in Saskatchewan now at 24,680. The new average of daily cases is up to 234.

Health officials said most of the new cases are located in the Saskatoon zone (49), followed by Regina (44), far north east (37), north west (24), north central (22), central east (17), south east (11), far north west (10), central west (10), south central (10), far north central (6) as well as five in north east. Residence information is still pending for five new infections.

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Read more: ‘No basis in reality’: NDP decries Saskatchewan premier’s COVID-19 response

The province’s hospitals are currently providing care for 216 patients with COVID-19 — 186 are receiving inpatient care and 30 are in intensive care.

Active cases, which are total cases less recoveries and deaths, now sit at 2,265 Saskatchewan, according to the press release.

The number of people who have recovered from the virus has grown to a total of 22,086 following 232 more recoveries, provincial health officials said.

COVID-19 tests carried out in Saskatchewan now total 517,756 since the first case was reported in the province in March 2020.

A total of 5,647 second doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Saskatchewan, provincial government officials said.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus testing on the decline in Saskatchewan' Coronavirus testing on the decline in Saskatchewan

Coronavirus testing on the decline 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 from Global News, click here.

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