WINNIPEG — A 911 call taker who works in the Winnipeg Police Service’s communications centre has tested positive for COVID-19, Chief Danny Smyth announced Wednesday.
Smyth said the employee last worked in the communications centre Apr.1 and began to feel ill. He said the employee sought medical care Apr.4 which prompted a test for COVID-19 that came back positive. Smyth said the results were shared with him.
During a media briefing on the situation Smyth told reporters four other employees have been advised to self-isolate at home as a precaution.
“These employees were known to have also worked on Apr.1 in proximity to the employee that tested positive,” said Smyth. “None of those employees have displayed any symptoms.”
Smyth said other employees have been called in to backfill so there are no disruptions to 911 services.
He noted precautionary screening has been introduced when communication centre employees arrive for work.
“They are screened by a paramedic, which includes a temperature check,” said Smyth. “We intend on expanding that screening to other areas of the service, particularly here at headquarters.”
He said 207 employees have been involved in various types of self-monitoring or self-isolation during the pandemic, many of those people were returning from travel.
Smyth said all but seven employees have returned to work. None others have tested positive.
Smyth said the force does not know how the one communication centre employee who tested positive contracted the virus. He noted that will be part of the public health investigation that takes place when someone tests positive for COVID-19.
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