We’ve been watching the COVID-19 case and test numbers in Saskatchewan these past few days with fingers crossed. Today marks the third day of sustained lower growth rates and while it’s early to declare a new growth rate, it is likely that we have slowed the overall growth in the province.
Have a look at the graph below. We had a 22% growth rate (doubling the infected every 4.5 days) right up until March 30. On March 31, there was a noticeable drop off in the growth rate and it has so far continued. Two weeks back from March 30 is March 16, which happens to be the day that the province announced it was going to close schools.
Our overall average growth rate, starting from the first day with 30 cases, is now 18% (5.5 days). Averaging over that time period doesn’t really do justice to our efforts to flatten the curve, though. Over the last few days, growth has slowed to an average of 6-7% (15 days). Again, it’s early to call victory, but the point of these graphs is to try to predict where we are going to see if action is needed. We’ll be updating the graph for future use to re-project the curve starting tomorrow. But we’ve already updated the graph below for Saskatoon, adding a new 13-day trend line to reflect the slowed growth here. We are basing that line off of Mar 31, which marks 90 cases and the beginning of the lower growth trend.
Finally, the graph that is most intended to indicate the spread of infection in the province. How does it look? We’re also seeing a decrease here (or at least a flattening) in the percentage of tests returning positive. So all signs are looking good. We’ll need at least a few more days to verify that this trajectory is real, but it certainly is encouraging. It seems likely that the spread has slowed.
As always, you can find updated charts daily on our COVID-19 page. Be sure to support local businesses – restaurants that are offering pickup/delivery are some of the hardest hit thanks to low margins. Get bread from a bakery. Our medical workers are out there saving lives everyday. We can do our part and help save livelihoods, and without social contact at all. Finally, I’ll leave you with this thought. Coronavirus is showing us all what a world looks like without 1 vaccine. I don’t want to imagine a world with no vaccines.