Opposition Labour Critic Carla Beck, is calling on the Premier and the government to immediately deploy rapid COVID-19 testing kits to employees of Prairie Pride Natural Foods. The NDP says confirmed cases at the plant have doubled since the outbreak was declared on February 19 but wide-scale testing of plant employees has still not been implemented.
Beck says, “You can’t call it rapid testing if the kits have been sitting on shelves for months.”
There are roughly 260 workers employed at Prairie Pride. The NDP says workers and their union have been left completely in the dark about the scale of the outbreak.
Norm Neault, President of UFCW 1400 says, “We know of 9 confirmed cases, with an additional 50 other individuals connected to those 9 cases that have been told by the SHA to self-isolate. That’s a quarter of the plant.” Neault says these workers move around the plant quite a bit and many carpool. He thinks the case count could be significantly higher and that’s why he says employees need to be quickly tested and they need to perform a deep clean of the facility.
The NDP says, as of February 5th, only two per cent of 422,080 rapid test kits Saskatchewan has, have been used.