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Five Forces members catch COVID-19 on deployment in long-term care homes

Last Updated May 15, 2020 at 12:14 pm MDT

FILE: Members of the Canadian Armed Forces march during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

OTTAWA – The Canadian Forces say five members working in long-term care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic have tested positive for the illness.

Four of them are in Quebec and one is in Ontario. The military says nearly 1,700 members of the Forces are working in nursing homes where regular staff have been overwhelmed by COVID-19, in some cases becoming sick themselves.

Quebec, in particular, has seen severe COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities, including one in the Montreal area where residents had been nearly abandoned by the staff.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is considering paying those military members extra, as it would on hazardous deployments abroad.

The Canadian Forces are promising reports on the illness in those deployed to nursing homes every two weeks.