Saskatchewan to learn lesson after disposing expired N-95 masks: health minister

Saskatchewan to learn lesson after disposing expired N-95 masks: health minister

Saskatchewan to learn lesson after disposing expired N-95 masks: health minister

REGINA — Saskatchewan’s health minister says the province has learned lessons from a decision several years ago to clear thousands of expired masks from the province’s stockpile.

Jim Reiter says he was concerned to learn that about 166,000 N-95 respirator masks were disposed from a storage room at a Regina hospital in 2014.

The issue was raised by the Opposition NDP, which says the province hired a consultant that year to clear some of its pandemic inventory.

NDP health critic Vicki Mowat says the government failed to properly maintain supplies and wasted tax dollars.

Reiter says there isn’t a current shortage of personal protective equipment but, like other provinces, Saskatchewan faced supply chain pressures when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in the spring.

Reiter says officials are putting plans in place to ensure supplies like masks aren’t left to expire.

“We’ve learned from this one,” he said Thursday.

“It’s as simple as an eye is kept on expiry dates and before it expires it gets put into the mainstream of the health-care system and is used. And then those supplies are replaced with new ones.”

Earlier Thursday, Saskatchewan reported another fatality from COVID-19, bringing the provincial death toll to 14. The person was in their 70s and in the far north region.

Health officials reported 10 new infections over the past two days, for a total of 795 cases in the province. Most of the new infections are in the far north.

So far, 701 people have recovered from the illness, while six remain in hospital.

Officials also said that they are no longer cautioning against non-essential travel to northern Alberta.

The advisory was put in place in April after cases of COVID-19 in northern Saskatchewan were linked to travel in northern Alberta, with an outbreak at an oilsands facility near Fort McMurray.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says officials in Alberta have announced that outbreak is over. But residents travelling between the areas are still encouraged to take precautions and to get tested if they develop symptoms related to COVID-19.

Saskatchewan’s far north region has been one of the areas hit hardest by the virus and is reported to have 46 active cases.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2020

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,516 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

Central zone has 1,849 active cases

Image/ Metro Creative Connection
County of Wetaskiwin responds to Alberta Energy Regulator’s decision on Directive 067.

On April 7, 2021 the Alberta Energy Regular (AER) announced a new edition of Directive 067.

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It’s not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he’d been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

Police are still looking for suspects, and have called in their forensics experts to help

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pfizer to increase vaccine deliveries in Canada as Moderna supply slashed

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Most Read