REGINA -- Since COVID-19 testing began in Saskatchewan, the province has been able to consistently perform around 500 to 1,000 COVID-19 tests daily, but has never been able to reach the goal of 1,500 tests that was set out early on in the pandemic.

On Wednesday, Moe said the lower testing numbers are due to a lack of demand.

“We haven’t had the request for testing, which is by and large a positive thing,” Moe said.

Although overall testing throughout Saskatchewan has remained mostly static, the rate of testing in areas with outbreaks will see increases.

“We do have a challenge in the northwest,” Moe said.

Moe said he expects testing and contact tracing to increase in the north west, to try and curb outbreak situations in the area.

To date there have been 727 tests performed in La Loche.

With test totals in the province remaining mostly consistent, the SHA said it has never had a backlog in testing. A higher capacity for tests also gave the health authority some extra leeway in case of a surge in testing demand.

As many as 15 communities throughout Saskatchewan now have access to GeneXpert machines that speed up the testing and confirmation process.