Continued compliance with physical distancing and self-isolation measures are key to saving lives and protecting health care workers, says the Saskatchewan Health Authority.
The SHA released modeling data Wednesday that show it’s no time to be complacent.
The models suggest between 153,000 and 408,000 people could be affected by COVID-19, with deaths ranging from 3,075 to 8,370.
The models use three different scenarios based on different rates of spread.
In one scenario, using early Canadian high estimates, the model shows 4,256 COVID-19 patients in acute care simultaneously. Of those hospitalized, 1,280 would be in ICU and between 90 and 95 percent of them would require ventilation.
A second scenario, dubbed the low Italy range, would see 1,265 patients in acute cure at the same time, with 380 in ICU and the same percentage requiring ventilation.
The third scenario, called the Wuhan, Imperial Model, estimates a peak of 390 COVID-19 patients in acute care at one time. Of those, 120 would be in ICU and 90 to 95 percent of them needing ventilation.
The SHA has increased access to testing by creating 38 sites around the province and tripling staff available for contact tracing efforts.
The plan calls for up to 57 percent more acute care capacity to be phased in as needed as hospitalization rates increase. This would include field hospitals in Saskatoon and Regina and other places if required.
As of April 5, 43 percent of the province’s acute care beds were available for use due to the previous slow-down of non-essential procedures and services.
The SHA said 20 out of its 65 hospitals would be designated for COVID-19 if required.
“We wanted to be transparent with the plan going forward so the public is aware of the escalated measures we will put into place if needed, but it is critical to remember that many of the changes proposed in this plan will be implemented only in response to anticipated surges in patient demand that start to exceed our capacity,” said Scott Livingstone, chief executive officer of the SHA.
“Changes like conversion to COVID-19-dedicated hospitals will only occur where it is absolutely required to ensure safety and maintain access for patients who need our care.”