SASKATOON -- A northern Saskatchewan First Nation has declared a state of emergency as the community battles a rise in COVID-19 cases without clean drinking water.

Fond Du Lac’s water treatment plant has been shut down due to mechanical issues, according to a memo written by the first nation’s emergency team. 

“Emergency plans have been put in place to ensure clean drinking water is back in the community as soon as possible,” the memo reads. 

The memo states that a shipment of bottled water is in the works. In the meantime, residents are advised to “haul water to their homes for their own use and consumption.” 

The memo states officials are working with Indigenous Services Canada, the water treatment operator and the Prince Albert Grand Council on the issue. 

The water-plant problems come as the community has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases. 

The Athabasca Health Authority has reported 37 cases of the virus in Fond Du Lac on Monday with more than 200 close contacts.