REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is decommissioning the COVID-19 field hospitals set up in Regina and Saskatoon, according to a Friday news release.

The facilities were initially developed to care for inpatients recovering from COVID-19, with capacity for approximately 300 to 650 patients. Neither hospital was ever activated.

“We have reached the point in Saskatchewan’s immunization program and Re-Open plan that we can start to decommission field hospitals in the coming weeks, with the intent to return them to their owners for their intended use later this summer,“ said Scott Livingstone, SHA CEO.

“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.”

The two field hospitals are located at Merlis Belsher Place in Saskatoon and the International Trade Centre at Evraz Place in Regina. The facilities have been on standby since they were completed in November 2020.

The SHA said the essential medical care items purchased for the field hospital will be redistributed to facilities around the province.

The decommissioning process is expected to begin in August for both hospitals.