Some Vernon RCMP officers are in isolation following an exposure event. (Morning Star file photo)

Some Vernon RCMP officers are in isolation following an exposure event. (Morning Star file photo)

Vernon Mounties in isolation after COVID-19 exposure

Immediate precautions were taken after officers identified in exposure event

Some Vernon Mounties are in isolation after coming into contact with someone in custody with COVID-19.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP were notified of the positive case of the virus and officers in direct contact were identified and directed to self-isolate. As contact tracing continued, more officers were identified and were directed to take precautions.

While no details have been released to protect the affected officers’ privacy, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP media relations officer Chris Terleski said as soon as any employee learns of possible exposure, immediate precautions are undertaken in line with provincial health guidelines.

“We are mindful that, as an essential service, we must continue to ensure public safety is not impacted, yet balance the needs of all of our employees, families and communities,” Terleski said.

RCMP employees are not required to work if they or someone they’ve been exposed to is suspected or confirmed to be affected by the virus, but Terleski said there is support in place to ensure proper resource levels are maintained.

“As an emergency response agency, we have implemented new protocols and procedures to deal with COVID-19, respecting that as first responders we are not immune from this global pandemic,” Terleski said. “Also as police officers, we routinely have to take precautions due to contacts with individuals and communicable diseases.”

The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP follows direction from public health officials and internal directives regarding any possible exposure.

“It is about planning, preparation, prevention and protection,” Terleski said.

“The safety and security of our community remains our top priority, and through the preventative use of face coverings, appropriate personal protective equipment, COVID screening, enhanced cleaning and social distancing, the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP have maintained uninterrupted delivery of core and enhanced policing services to our communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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