'We continue to work closely with the education sector to identify how we can best support their school-based needs'
Saskatchewan is providing schools with $10 million worth of safety gear to continue to help keep students and school staff safe.
“Our government is pleased to support Saskatchewan-based personal protective equipment suppliers while protecting students, school staff and families,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. “We continue to work closely with the education sector to identify how we can best support their school-based needs.”
With that funding, the government purchased four million face masks and 18,000 face shields from Saskatoon-based company Benchmark Personal Protective Equipment.
“Benchmark PPE is extremely proud to be able to manufacture these critical PPE items in Saskatoon,” Benchmark Personal Protective Equipment Business Developer Justin Stuart said. “It is of the utmost importance to keep students and staff in schools safe while in the classroom.”
The face shields and masks are being shipped directly to Saskatchewan’s 27 school divisions and 26 independent schools throughout this week.
The face masks and shields are the third batch of school personal protective equipment (PPE) the government has purchased to ensure that students and staff continue to have daily access to masks. Each school-based staff member will have access to a face shield.
Previously, the Ministry of Education purchased 8.4 million disposable masks which were distributed directly to provincial school divisions and independent schools. It has also provided schools with 28,000 face shields purchased from an Ontario-based company.
A Request for Bids (RFB) is currently open on SaskTenders for 210,000 non-medical cloth face masks, according to the government. The RFB closes on Jan. 14 and the reusable masks are expected to be delivered directly to school divisions and independent schools by the end of January.