REGINA -- Eight more Extendicare Parkside residents have died in the past day, as the COVID-19 outbreak at the care home continues.

“Our condolences go out on behalf of myself as the minister, the premier and of course this entire government to the families of those who have passed away,” Everett Hindley, the Minister of Rural and Remote Health, said.

The virus continues to spread at the home, with 178 active cases among residents and staff. A total of 11 people have now died.

Earlier this week, the government transferred 25 healthy residents to other facilities, but others without COVID-19 remained behind.

The Regina Fire Department has been called to assist with patient care, as the province faces opposition criticism over the handling of the outbreak.

Fire officials said the facility is overburdens and crews are doing any task that helps ease the burden on staff members.

A team of four members of the fire department have been going into the long-term care home this week and will continue helping until Friday.

“Clearly Mr. Moe doesn’t have this under control. We have the second highest number of active cases in the entire country. We’ve got outbreaks in long term care, outbreaks in hospital. Things are not going well,” Ryan Meili, the leader of the Saskatchewan NDP, said.

So far, the province has not turned to the military for assistance in nursing homes, as Ontario did earlier in the pandemic, but it remains an option should the need develop.