SASKATOON -- The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) plans to reopen emergency departments in nine communities.

Those include Kerrobert, Herbert, Preeceville, Davidson, Wolseley, Arcola, Biggar, Leader and Oxbow, according to a news release.

The SHA expects the first reopening will be Arcola in mid-June, with others to follow.

The announcement comes after Saskatchewan Party MLA Greg Brkich questioned the closure of the Davidson ER and said residents could be in jeopardy because the next nearest facility is about an hour away.

In May, the SHA converted 12 community hospitals to Alternate Level of Care (ALC) sites to help build capacity for any potential surge in COVID-19 cases and to protect as much as possible against outbreaks in these facilities, the SHA says.

The SHA says it will work with Broadview, Radville and Lanigan hospitals, which need more time, to work toward reopening emergency departments when it's safe.