Northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba are going on two different tracks on COVID-19. Manitoba’s case counts are staying low, while Saskatchewan’s continue to spiral.
As of Sept. 1, the Creighton/Denare Beach/Flin Flon, Sask. area had reported six new cases in the last week, after weeks of stability with few - if any - cases reported. An exact number of how many cases remained active as of Sept. 1 is not known, but the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) had shown fewer than five cases stayed active - the SHA does not show detailed case data if fewer than five cases are active in a given community.
In total, the three communities have reported 73 total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
While case counts have remained low in the Creighton/Denare Beach/Flin Flon, Sask. area so far, that’s not the case for the rest of Saskatchewan, particularly in northern regions.
Saskatchewan’s far north and north regions have reported almost 20,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with 1,607 cases active as of Sept. 6. Five of the six northern districts have more than 150 active cases, with three of those five having more than 300 active cases. Eight northern Saskatchewan residents have died in the last week from COVID-19, bringing the death toll up to 227 people in northern regions alone. Only the Saskatoon region has more current COVID-19 cases than the northern regions - almost a thousand people in Saskatoon have tested positive.
Elsewhere in the province, Saskatchewan is now up to 3,252 active cases in total and has reported the highest seven-day average of new cases that it has reported since the pandemic began. The province currently has no COVID-19-related public health orders in effect, with no limits on gathering sizes, vaccination-related restrictions for large public events or rules for indoor mask use.
Last week, the SHA announced it would change the province’s contact tracing procedures, pushing the duty of telling people they’ve been near a person who’s tested positive to the person who’s tested positive. SHA Public Health, according to a Sept. 3 press release, will still tell people their test results, tell people who test positive who is and isn’t considered a close contact and identify cases in health facilities, long term care home and with people with health issues, but others will have to do their own contact tracing. The SHA is calling for all eligible Saskatchewan residents to be fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Manitoba is keeping a lid on their case counts. The Northern Health Region (NHR) has 87 active cases as of Sept. 7, 49 of which are in the remote Island Lake district. The Pas/OCN/Kelsey currently has 18 remaining active cases, while most other northern districts - including Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon - have either one or no active cases left. Three active cases remain in the Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon district as of Sept. 7, up from last week’s zero.