According to the latest community respiratory illness surveillance program (CRISP) report from the government of Saskatchewan, the province has detected a new COVID-19 variant after the holidays.
The report, which covered Dec. 18-31 of 2022, shows that Omicron subvariants BQ.1.1 and BQ.1 made up nearly 82 per cent of COVID-19 cases identified in Saskatchewan at the time.
There were also reports of at least two cases of the XBB.1.5 subvariant, which is spreading in other parts of Canada and the world but has not been found before in Saskatchewan.
Health authorities in the United States and the United Kingdom predict XBB.1.5 will quickly become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in their respective countries.
It was first detected in October and has been found in 29 countries, according to the World Health Organization.
According to the CRISP report, except for Regina, all areas of the province have less than 50 per cent of their population up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines. Less than half of individuals aged 50 plus have had more than one booster dose (46 per cent).
In the final two weeks of December, 10 people were reported to have died from COVID-19.
In total, COVID-19 lab-confirmed cases decreased from 326 to 302, with a test positivity rate of 6.7 per cent.
A full copy of the CRISP report can be found on the government of Saskatchewan’s website.
Majority of Canadians still concerned over COVID: poll
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.