While viruses thrive in cold weather, this winter's mild temperatures didn't slow down the spread of influenza across the province. 

In fact, according to the SHA's medical health officer for the southwest, Dr. David Torr, infection rates spiked this season compared to recent years. 

"What is called a 'milder winter' doesn't mean you're going to have a milder influenza season," he said. "There are many factors that come into play. A couple of years ago, it was quieter seasons for influenza, with COVID mostly predominating. But this particular season, influenza did make a comeback and quite a significant comeback."

There were 3,934 influenza-associated hospitalizations reported in Canada (by participating provinces and territories) from Aug. 27, 2023, to Mar. 16, 2024. Adults 65 years and older accounted for 47 per cent of the reported hospitalizations.

From Feb. 25 to Mar. 9, 2024, there were four COVID-19 outbreaks reported in high-risk settings in Saskatchewan.

"At one time we started out with about one per cent positivity rate and then it shot up within a couple of weeks to 12 per cent -- five per cent is usually our threshold for significant spreading of illness within the community," he said. "We saw quite a bit of influenza ... but as well with the COVID still very much a presence, and a number of other respiratory viruses also made their way into our communities and in our facilities."