SASKATOON -- Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) CEO Scott Livingstone on Friday acknowledged concerns over the delay in publicly announcing the COVID-19 outbreak at Lloydminster Hospital.

"While we don't believe there was any additional risk created to staff or public because of this delay in the public notification, we do recognize that it should have occurred sooner," he said at a news conference in Regina.

"It is certainly not the way in which the Saskatchewan Health Authority wants to be known as a good communicator with our partners and our public and we are working closely with the Ministry of Health to immediately correct that situation so it doesn't happen again."

An outbreak is defined as the sudden occurrence of a disease in a community which has never experienced the disease before or when cases of that disease occur in numbers greater than expected in a defined area.

On Wednesday, Dr. Mandiangu Nsungu, northern area medical health officer, said the SHA declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Lloydminster Hospital to the health ministry on Sunday. The delay in notifying the public was to avoid panicking residents, he said.

Nsungu has since said that the official notification was in fact submitted Monday night, Livingstone said Friday.

"I want to emphasize that what occurred was at no fault of Dr. Nsungu or local staff," Livingstone said. "It is critical we create better and clearer processes and as an organization we are committed to continuous improvement and COVID-19 and the things that impact our organization around COVID-19 are no different than that.

"We will learn from this virus, we will learn from some of the challenges in situations that we face and we will correct them immediately."

He noted that an outbreak was declared at Prince Albert's Victoria Hospital on Thursday evening and the public was notified Friday.