Saskatchewan could see between 3000 and 8000 deaths due to COVID-19.

In modelling released today by the Sask. Health Authority, there could be as many as 480,000 cases of the coronavirus.

This could put great strain on hospitals where 4200 people could be hospitalized and 1200 patients needing ventilators.

The SHA estimates  it will need 860 ventilators, but only has 450, with a gap of 410.

Between 100-200 ventilators are on order and expected in the coming weeks.

The planned capacity for patient demand is forecasted to be in the mid-to-high range with hospital capacity towards the higher range.

Since non-essential and urgent hospital procedures have been canceled, more than 1000 hospital beds have been freed up.

To deal with a possible worst case scenario, the SHA has identified 20 out of its 65 hospitals that would be designated COVID-19 hospitals, if required to meet the clinical needs of the patient population in their areas of the province.

To covert these hospitals would take approximately four to six weeks.

The hospitals in La Ronge La Loche and Ile a la Crosse would be designated mix-use hospitals.

While the province does have the capacity to construct field hospitals, in the north would only be used for contingency purposes.

The Integrated Northern Health Region will have a surge capacity issue, being short 68 intensive care beds.

This would mean that overflow ICU patients would be taken to urban hospitals for treatment.

“The COVID‐19 global pandemic will continue for weeks and months to come – and we may not see the whole picture or understand its full impact until its over,” a presentation by the SHA said. “We expect more cases and deaths.”

The SHA states that the models are not predictions, but what if scenario’s and that current interventions are making a difference.

(Photo: Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert. MBC file)