RCMP confirms first 6 cases of COVID-19, including at least 1 in B.C.
An RCMP backdrop during a press conference. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
VANCOUVER -- Six RCMP employees have caught the novel coronavirus so far, including at least one in British Columbia.
Authorities announced the six cases on Friday, but did not provide any further details about what the employees do in the organization or where they work. The RCMP would only confirm they are all located in B.C., Alberta and Ontario.
"As members of the communities we serve, RCMP employees are not immune to the risks of COVID-19," the force said in a statement on its website.
"We are not in a position to confirm specific information with respect to our employees, as this forms part of their private medical history."
The RCMP said it's following the protocols recommended by public health officials and taking "immediate precautions" whenever employees are potentially exposed to the virus.
Some RCMP detachments are closed to the public to prevent potential transmission of COVID-19, but the force said residents of those communities can be assured that officers are still working and responding to calls during the crisis.
In B.C., first responders of all stripes are taking extra steps to protect themselves from the virus as they continue interacting with the public in their day-to-day duties.
Firefighters and police in some jurisdictions are wearing extra protective equipment when responding to certain calls, and callers are being asked COVID-19 screening questions before first responders show up.
As of Friday, there have been 792 people infected with the novel coronavirus in British Columbia and 16 of them have died. Another 275 have fully recovered from the virus.