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The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Center will close its doors at least until Wednesday morning after three employees contract the novel coronavirus.

A little over a week ago, an employee tested positive for the first time.

Executive Director Laurie O’Connor said employees who were in close contact with this person were asked to isolate themselves and get tested. The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has been contacted to ensure that the safety measures in place are sufficient to prevent the virus from spreading.

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“We had a health inspector come over and see the safety measures we had in place and got a very positive report,” said O’Connor.

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Despite the precautionary measures, two other employees tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. It is not known whether the two new cases are related to the first.

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The panel has hired a professional company to thoroughly clean the building for the next few days while it is closed and will decide what to do next based on SHA’s recommendations.

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The food bank supplies approximately 18,000 people in Saskatoon each month. Although the pandemic has presented a variety of challenges, usage has not increased and demand is being met.

“The support from the community is incredible. Since the pandemic started, we’ve seen donors standing next to us and it’s really great to know we have the support, “said O’Connor.

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During the closure, there are other agencies like the Friendship Inn that can assist people who normally use the blackboard.

“We know that when our doors are closed, other agencies are definitely strained and stressed. We are working with our partners to ensure we can provide food baskets to other agencies so that people in need can get the help they need, ”said O’Connor.

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O’Connor hopes the blackboard will continue as soon as new security measures are in place.

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