VANCOUVER -- Police are recommending assault charges after two separate incidents where officers were allegedly spat on in Burnaby.

Authorities said the first happened outside the emergency room of Burnaby General Hospital on June 19, when police were called to help security staff deal with a "woman who was causing a disturbance."

"While being restrained to allow for hospital staff to provide treatment, the suspect turned her head toward the officer and is alleged to have assaulted the officer by spitting straight into her eyes and face," the Burnaby RCMP detachment said in a news release.

Police said the officer was "exposed to a communicable disease," but did not specify which one.

The next incident happened on June 26 as officers were responding to a report that someone was destroying property at their own home on Elwell Street.

Authorities said the suspect was confrontational and at one point was seen drinking his own urine prior to the alleged spitting incident.

"After being engaged in conversation for nearly an hour, the man was apprehended safely under the Mental Health Act and walked out of the house with police officers. While he was on his way out he is alleged to have assaulted the officer by spitting on her," Burnaby RCMP said.

A number of similar incidents have been reported since the start of the pandemic, which has made spitting assaults even more troubling for first responders than usual.

Over the weekend, Deputy Chief Howard Chow of the Vancouver Police Department reported that a drunk man spat on an officer twice during an arrest.

"It's disgusting to be spat at under any circumstances," Chow said on Twitter, adding that the suspect in question has since been charged.