The health district covering Flin Flon has finally reached 80 per cent uptake for COVID-19 vaccines.
The Flin Flon/Snow Lake/Cranberry Portage/Sherridon health district hit the 80 per cent first dose mark for eligible people Oct. 25, becoming the 14th of 16 health districts in northern Manitoba to clear that mark. Only two northern health districts - the Grand Rapids/Misipawistik/Moose Lake/Mosakahiken/Easterville/Chemawawin district and Pukatawagan/Mathias Colomb Cree Nation - have lower vaccination numbers than the Flin Flon district. Six northern districts have already cleared 90 per cent first dose percentages.
Manitoba cleared the 1,000 case mark Oct. 25, with well over a third of the province’s 1,121 active cases in the Northern Health Region (NHR). Well over 300 of those cases are in the Norway House and Pukatawagan health districts, where according to provincial data, 226 and 123 people have active COVID-19 cases.
Only one case remains active in the Flin Flon health district.
Cases of COVID-19 are going down in Saskatchewan, but the province’s health care system is under heavy strain.
The province has begun shipping patients in need of COVID-19-related intensive care treatment out of the province, with up to 19 people being moved to Ontario hospitals from Saskatchewan as of Oct. 27.
A total of 71 people are in Saskatchewan intensive care units due to COVID-19, part of 293 people in Saskatchewan hospitals in total because of the disease. Those numbers do not include the people from Saskatchewan who have been flown out for treatment.
For context, before COVID-19, Saskatchewan had a total of 79 intensive care beds province-wide, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).
Including its own pandemic surge capacity, the province now has 116 ICU beds - and, as of Oct. 25, 117 people needing intensive care for all causes, including COVID-19. Another 57 people, according to SHA data, are in hospital receiving high-flow oxygen, meaning they would also require intensive care treatment under ideal circumstances.
Thirty-two people have died from COVID-19 in Saskatchewan in the past week, as of Oct. 25.
While hospitalizations and deaths in Saskatchewan are spiralling, the province is making headway on new cases, having seen decreases in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19. Saskatchewan is now down to having 2,440 active cases of COVID-19 as of Oct. 27, only weeks after having nearly 5,000 active infections. Another 223 people tested positive for the disease Oct. 27. Testing numbers have also dropped heavily in Saskatchewan in recent weeks, going from over 6,000 tests per day Oct. 7 to 1,496 tests Oct. 28.
Just under a third of the province's active cases are in either north or far north communities, with 249 people listed as active cases in the north west region of Saskatchewan, centred around Lloydminster and the Battlefords, and another 245 people currently active in the north central health zone, centred around Prince Albert.
Cases are also dropping in the far north east 2 health zone, which covers Saskatchewan communities near Flin Flon. Less than five active cases are present in the Creighton/Denare Beach/Flin Flon, Sask. area - the SHA does not report exact numbers when rural communities have fewer than five cases, citing privacy concerns.
Pelican Narrows is down to 10 active cases according to the Angelique Canada Health Centre, with no active cases of COVID-19 remaining active in Deschambault Lake for the first time since August.
Vaccination numbers in Creighton and Denare Beach are still lagging well behind the Flin Flon health district. About 73 per cent of eligible people in Creighton and Flin Flon, Sask. have received one dose, while about 66 per cent of eligible people have both doses. Denare Beach continues to have much lower vaccine rates than the rest of the area, with only 58.7 per cent of eligible people having one shot and under half of all eligible people getting their second dose.