Eight deaths, another 312 new COVID-19 cases reported in Saskatchewan

REGINA — Saskatchewan reported eight more deaths Friday from COVID-19 and 312 new cases.

Health officials say many of the latest infections came from in and around Saskatoon, North Battleford, Prince Albert and Regina.

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The Ministry of Health said there are 177 people in hospital, with 30 patients receiving intensive care.

Premier Scott Moe focused on vaccinations, noting the success of the province's rollout but also noting it would soon run out of vaccine because there are no deliveries coming next week.

"Saskatchewan now has the highest percentage of COVID-19 vaccine shots administered of any province in Canada," Moe tweeted Friday.

"The federal government needs to get us more vaccines more quickly."

Health officials said so far, more than 31,000 shots have been injected into the arms of doctors, nurses, long-term care staff and residents, and well as seniors in different communities.

Saskatchewan continues to have the highest rate of active cases in Canada per 100,000 people.

On Thursday, police in Regina said officers carried out a detention order against a 36-year-old man who was positive with COVID-19, but not self-isolating.

It happened after officers were called to a downtown hotel, which is being used to house people who need to self-isolate but don't have the means to do so on their own.

Police say the man was first taken to hospital in Regina, and then to a medical facility in North Battleford, which keeps people in closed custody.

"He had left the hotel a number of times and the medical health officer believed he was endangering the lives, safety or health of others by his refusal to self-isolate," said Regina police spokeswoman Elizabeth Popowich.

Popowich said detention orders are issued by the Saskatchewan Health Authority and allow for an officer to take a person into custody until their release is approved by a medical health officer.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2020

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