SASKATOON -- The Northern grocery store in La Loche is temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, according to the store’s Facebook page.

The employee last worked at the store on Monday, the Facebook post said. 

The store said all staff are being tested for COVID-19 Thursday and Friday. 

It also said community members who have had contact with the employee will be notified by Public Health workers and given guidance on testing, self-isolation and self-monitoring.

This comes as the province announced 15 new cases of COVID-19 in the far north on Thursday, bringing the total number of active cases for that region to 138. Twelve of the cases are in the La Loche area.

“This has been the case for several days now, most of the cases are related to the outbreak in and around La Loche while active and new cases remain low in the rest of Saskatchewan,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said.

Northern, which sells groceries and other general items, has been closed to the public since May 1 at 7 p.m. but has been offering curbside pickup and delivery to customers. 

The store is now completely closed, with the exception of limited access to the pharmacy, the Facebook post said. 

Staff said the store will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected under the direction of Saskatchewan Public Health. 

“Northern is working quickly and diligently and will reopen as soon as the Public Health inspector advises that it is safe to do so... we hope to open in the near future,” the store said in its post. 

Once the store reopens, it said it will continue to only provide pickup and delivery services. 

Northern is one of two grocery stores in La Loche.

Last week an employee at a grocery store in Beauval  tested positive for the virus.