Nine workers to sequester at water treatment plant in Brandon, Man.

BRANDON, Man. — Nine employees will be sequestered in the water treatment facility in Brandon, Man., as part of the city's pandemic preparedness plan.

The city says in a news release that the nine, who have volunteered for the duty, will enter the treatment facility at 6 p.m. Thursday and will remain there 24-7 to ensure it can continue to safely produce potable water.

As part of the plan, trailers will be used as accommodation for the crew.

Mayor Rick Chrest says the decision, made by the Brandon Emergency Response Control Group, is proactive and should not be a cause for public alarm.

Patrick Pulak, the city's manager of development services, says the new coronavirus cannot be contracted via the water supply because chlorine used in the treatment process kills viruses.

He says the plan is being enacted strictly to ensure the health of the facility's operators.

The city says another 14 water treatment facility and maintenance staff remain on the job outside the facility, with contingencies in place to ensure their health should a shift switch need to be considered in the coming weeks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 26, 2020.

The Canadian Press