Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) CEO Scott Livingstone said on Friday afternoon in a press conference in Regina that an outbreak of COVID-19 would be declared in Beauval soon.
“Although an official epidemic has not been declared for Beauval, we expect it to be imminent. This is a rapidly changing situation of which we have just been alerted, “said Livingstone, who joined by phone.
The province said on Friday that the far north – where the community is located – is home to 19 of the province’s 26 new confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Another northern community, La Loche, is currently struggling with an epidemic of COVID-19 which has left dozens of cases and two deaths.
In Beauval, an employee of the Beauval general store tested positive for COVID-19
earlier this week.
Beauval mayor Nick Daigneault says more than two dozen store employees have since been tested for the virus.
Although he heard that most of the results were negative, some did not, said Daigneault.
“Of course, with the positives now, it means that some of these employees live in the Beauval subdivision itself,” said Daigneault.
The mayor attributes the precautions already in place to the general store, owned and operated by the nearby English River First Nation, which limits the extent of the epidemic.
“They always had in mind that this could potentially be a reality with the store as busy as it is. Loche and all the communities in between, ”said Daigneault.
The store is closed, but Daigneault said he could reopen next week.
In the meantime, many residents of the community of over 800 and the greater region do not have access to a grocery store.
He said that some members of his community have tried to go south to buy groceries, but we are turned back at checkpoints that enforce the travel restrictions put in place under the current order. public health.
“I hear they are turned down, which is not good news for us because we were assured that groceries were an essential part of the trip,” said Daigneault.
“I’m sure they will clean it up in the next few moments but today there has been a lot of disappointment and frustration about it. “
In the midst of the epidemic, Daigneault said that he and other Beauval leaders were trying to send a message of calm to those directly affected by the virus and to the community in general.
“We have staff and volunteers on the go to really help families who test positive and we have to help them and we’re going to get through this together.”