COVID-19 outbreak at Saskatoon Tribal Council well being centre
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“Our nurses are overwhelmed at the moment. They put in many extra hours,” he said.
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07 Dec 2020 • December 7, 2020 • Read for 2 minutes • Join the conversation Photo by Michelle Berg /Saskatoon StarPhoenix
Saskatoon Tribal Council chief Mark Arcand says a COVID-19 outbreak at his organization’s health center means some of the city’s most vulnerable people will lose access to vital services.
Arcand said four employees at the Saskatoon Tribal Council health center on 20th Street tested positive and a fifth was in isolation. The Saskatchewan government announced an outbreak in the center on Friday.
Arcand said it continues a trend of the pandemic that is hitting the city’s core neighborhood hard, leaving vulnerable people with no access to essential services.
“COVID-19 has severely affected our day-to-day operations in providing services to children and families in the city of Saskatoon,” he said on Friday.
The health center of the STC is a hub for the public health services in the core quarters. It usually offers mental health services, addiction counseling, and visiting hours with elders.
Arcand said it is now only able to continue its needle exchange program, which visits between 150 and 200 customers daily.
He said the organization had also looked at positive cases in their group homes and other services and facilities such as the White Buffalo Youth Lodge.
“Our nurses are currently overwhelmed. You put in a lot of extra hours, ”he said.
Last month, the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Center were temporarily closed after a handful of employees tested positive. Prairie Harm Reduction, which is on the same block as the STC’s health center, reopened Monday after a positive case caused it to temporarily close its doors in November.
Arcand said it was a reminder that COVID-19 is haunting those most exposed in the city. He said his focus is on preventing more infections in the community and trying to get the services back up and running whenever he can safely do so, despite asking the public for patience.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel. They talk about vaccines … it comes down to getting a cure for COVID-19, and the faster the cure is now, it definitely is. “
A Saskatchewan government website also recorded new outbreaks of COVID-19 at Samaritan Place, a nursing home in Saskatoon, as well as at St. Augustine Catholic School.
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