Provincial public health teams monitor and provide public health guidance on respiratory illnesses annually, as they have associated pressures on care settings like care homes and acute care facilities.
Effective October 13, 2022, coinciding with the start of fall respiratory virus season, the start of the annual influenza immunization campaign and the availability of the COVID-19 bivalent vaccine, which provides Omicron-specific protection against COVID-19 infection, the Ministry of Health introduced the Community Respiratory Illness Surveillance Program (CRISP), providing residents the most up-to-date surveillance data of respiratory virus activity in the province to inform their individual risk assessment.
CRISP comprises a number of data-driven indicators of respiratory activity in Saskatchewan, including COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory illnesses, including rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza viruses 1-4 (PIV 1-4), adenovirus (ADV) and human metapneumovirus (HMPV).
Indicators available in CRISP include: indicators of viral transmission (case counts, test positivity, outbreaks and coinfections); sentinel indicators (emergency department visits, calls to HealthLine 811, wastewater reports); and outcome, health care capacity and immunization coverage indicators. Data is available for the province as a whole and select indicators by zone.
This report is a collaborative effort across health organizations in Saskatchewan, including the Ministry of Health, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, First Nations partners, wastewater researchers, individual clinicians submitting respiratory specimens for testing and the Roy Romanow provincial laboratory.
Everyday preventative actions can continue to reduce transmission of respiratory illness.
- keep up to date with vaccinations, including your COVID booster and influenza immunizations;
- consider wearing a mask, particularly in indoor crowded spaces or areas with poor ventilation;
- practice proper cough and sneezing etiquette (into a tissue or the bend of your elbow);
- practice frequent handwashing;
- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly; and;
- do a home antigen test and stay home with even mild symptoms (even if you test negative).
Note: CRISP reports will be transitioning to monthly during the summer as the prevalence of respiratory viruses in the warmer month’s declines. We will return to regular bi-weekly CRISP reporting in the fall.