The outbreak of COVID-19 cases at the Lloydminster Hospital came as a complete surprise to the city.
On April 29, Premier Scott Moe and Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab announced 13 cases have been confirmed at the facility in their daily update.
“The City of Lloydminster became aware of this yesterday at the same time the rest of the community did,” Manager EMO Jordan Newton says. “Our thoughts and our prayers go out to our health care workers working at our hospital; our doctors, nurses and support staff as well as dietary and cleaning.”
SHA officials identified the outbreak on Sunday but didn’t announce it until Wednesday. Since then, the province has confirmed another two positive cases in Lloydminster.
Also announced during the update was that Lloydminster would be excluded in the provincial reopening plan due to the outbreak.
The city is consulting with the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Health Authority on when and how the reopening will be implemented.
“We are collecting information from our provincial partners on when and where the City of Lloydminster reopen plan will happen and continue to take the recommendations from Saskatchewan Health.”
With the reopening delayed, local businesses preparing to reopen are faced with more uncertainty.
“We are working closely with the city’s economic development department which has coordinated an economic recovery plan for the city and there will be continued discussions with local business community to ensure they have the latest information.”
Newton encourages business owners to visit the city’s website for more information on available resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Newton reminds residents to follow provincial health guidelines such as proper handwashing, practice physical distancing and not to gather in groups.
“I think it’s more important now more than ever that the city collectively comes together to fight the virus and we do that by practicing good social distancing.”
EDIT: The article has been edited to clarify the reopening of the city. The original article could have been interpreted as the city would not be able to reopen until there were zero active cases in the city. This is not the case. The City of Lloydminster is in discussion with the Government of Saskatchewan and the SHA about the reopening when it is deemed safe to do so.