Military confirms 40 per cent of COVID-positive troops deployed to long-term care homes were asymptomatic
2020-06-26 From cbc.ca
Up to 40 per cent of Canadian troops infected with the novel coronavirus may have been carrying the virus symptom-free while they were deployed to long-term care homes — and may even have contracted it in the hotels where they were billeted — senior members of the military acknowledged today.
The remarks by Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance and the military's deputy surgeon general once again focused attention on the patchy testing regime employed by the Department of National Defence (DND) when over 1,600 troops were tasked with backstopping failing long-term care facilities in Quebec and Ontario.
As CBC News reported earlier this month, the military itself had been testing only those troops deployed to long-term care homes who displayed symptoms of the virus. Asymptomatic military members were not proactively tested — except in cases where the long-term care homes themselves provided the screening.
Maj.-Gen. Marc Bilodeau, the deputy surgeon general, told a Senate committee today that 40 per cent of the infections involved asymptomatic solders who were detected by preemptive evaluations by the nursing homes that were trying to identify and prevent "an uncontrollable outbreak."
At a separate public event on Friday, Vance said most of the 55 soldiers who contracted the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 did pick it up in long-term care homes, which have been hotspots of infection throughout the pandemic.
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