The Saskatchewan NDP is asking the Minister of Health to answer for recent communications breakdowns in the handling of COVID-19, including the initial downplaying of the La Loche outbreak, which has now spread to Prince Albert and other communities in the Northwest, and the delay in notifying the public about the Lloydminster outbreak.

“With a growing number of local outbreaks, the Health Minister should be doing everything possible to provide the public with timely information they can trust,” said Meili. “Unfortunately, that trust was shaken last week. We need clear and complete answers for why the public was told repeatedly that the outbreak in La Loche was under control, why the decision was made to delay notifying people about the outbreak in Lloydminster, and what the Minister is doing to improve communication and coordination.”

The Saskatchewan Health Authority has said that the Ministry was notified of the Lloydminster outbreak on Sunday April 26th or Monday April 27th, but the public was not notified until Wednesday the 29th. The public was also told repeatedly that the La Loche outbreak was “under control” — an outbreak that has since infected dozens of people in that community and spread to Prince Albert, Beauval and other communities in the northwest.

“Minister Reiter needs to be accountable. Saskatchewan’s pandemic response requires clear, consistent communication and coordination, and that starts with clear answers for the decisions made to date.”