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More provincial forest firefighters test positive for COVID-19, eight cases confirmed: SPSA

Cases found at Denare Beach, Pelican Narrows response area

The number of firefighters based in northern Saskatchewan with COVID-19 has risen to at least eight.

A spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) confirmed five cases August 24, then confirmed more had been found as of August 30.

“The SPSA can confirm that a total of eight firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Denare Beach and Pelican Narrows response area and we are waiting for confirmatory PCR testing for one other firefighter,” said a SPSA spokesperson to The Reminder August 30.

“The firefighters who have tested positive, as well as the individual who is awaiting confirmation, are self-isolating.”

The spokesperson did not confirm how the firefighters might have been exposed to COVID-19 or whether the cases were in Denare Beach or Pelican Narrows residents.

“The SPSA has comprehensive protocols in place to ensure the safety of its employees and contractors, including rapid testing,” reads a SPSA statement to The Reminder.

“The SPSA regularly reassigns additional firefighting support from other parts of the province to address shortages or increased response needs."