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Saskatchewan Health to decommission COVID-19 field hospitals in coming weeks

Field hospitals were set up in Saskatoon and Regina early in the COVID-19 pandemic to deal with increased volumes of patients. They were never used. Credit Saskatchewan Health Authority

With COVID-19 hospitalizations remaining low and the province starting to open up, Saskatchewan Health Authority’s (SHA) CEO said COVID-19 field hospitals will start to be decommissioned.

Read more: Saskatchewan opens up access to rapid antigen COVID-19 tests

“The creation of these field hospitals were an essential component of our defensive strategy. And while we continue to monitor COVID hospitalizations and ensure surge plans are in place, we believe field hospitals no longer need to be part of those plans, and are very pleased that we never had to use them,” said Scott Livingstone.

Located in Saskatoon at Merlis Belsher Place and the International Trade Centre in Regina, the field hospitals were set up to support about 300 to 650 patients combined if needed. They were set up early in the COVID-19 pandemic to deal with potential increased patient volumes.

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Items such as hospital beds were purchased to equip both field hospitals. The SHA said in a news release that hospital beds and other medical items will be distributed around the province to areas that need it most.

The SHA thanked the University of Saskatchewan (USask) and the Regina Exhibition Association Ltd. (REAL) for their support.

As lease agreements with both organizations reach their expiration date, the SHA will begin the process of decommissioning each space. The process is expected to take about four weeks.

Read more: Critical health incidents being under-reported to Ministry of Health

At Merlis Belsher Place in Saskatoon, the process is expected to begin Aug. 1. At the International Trade Centre in Regina, the process will start in August and is expected to be completed by the end of September.

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