National COVID-19 Update - March 20, 2020


This page is intended for all RCMP employees.

You should contact your manager if you have any questions specific to your situation.

Commissioner's broadcast sent March 20, 2020

Well it has been quite a week. Across the country, we have been reorganizing, retooling and refocusing on the important job of keeping Canadians safe as we confront a global public health incident.

Over the weekend, many of you will be on the road or in a detachment keeping vital services running. Others may be doing critical tasks remotely, working from home to help us flatten that curve. Those who have a chance to rest up, please do – your colleagues and the public need us to be at our best.

Whatever your situation, self care and proper precautions are more important than ever – the key to keeping Canadians safe is to keep ourselves healthy so that we can deliver the excellent policing services we're famous for.

Priority COVID testing

Currently, police officers are tested in accordance with established public health protocols. Testing is only done where individuals are showing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or difficulty breathing) or have been potentially exposed to the virus – either during travel or by being in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Those that do not have symptoms or do not meet these criteria are not being tested.

Whether tested or not, the proper response to possible exposure is self-isolation. Immediate testing will not help to shorten the 2-week isolation period, given that it may take up to 14 days for symptoms of COVID-19 to appear after exposure.

Self-isolation for remote locations

Our northern communities can be particularly vulnerable in outbreaks, and many do not have facilities to support serious illness. In order to better protect the health and safety of employees, your families and our communities, employees returning from international travel are asked to self-isolate and monitor their health before returning to a remote community.

To be clear, if your final destination is in a northern or isolated community (e.g. Iqaluit), please do not return to the community until you have completed the full 14-day self-isolation period in an urban centre where access to care is available. This should be close to your point of entry into Canada or in the connecting city that serves as the southern gateway to your destination. As some territories and provinces are also imposing additional requirements regarding self-isolation, we are in discussions regarding possible exemption measures for critical essential services.

If you are required to self-isolate outside of your home community, please notify your manager as soon as possible, so that they can make the necessary arrangements. Managers with delegated financial signing authority can approve government travel status for RCMP employees and their families to allow them to self-isolate in urban centres when returning from international travel. These arrangements can be made regardless of the nature of the trip, as long as the employee's final destination of travel is to a northern or isolated community.

Managers can approve up to 14 days of accommodations and associated travel costs, as governed by the National Joint Council Travel Directive. Contact your manager for the details.

Relocation impacts

Effective immediately, to protect the health of employees and families during the global COVID-19 outbreak, new or pending transfers requiring a relocation (cost move) will be postponed for 30 days. This period will be reassessed as the situation evolves.

Exceptional circumstances will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and active or on-going relocation files will continue to be administered, but all are still dependent on the availability of service providers.

If you are currently moving or planning a cost move as part of a transfer, please speak with your assigned Relocation Specialist or contact RCMP National Accounting and Relocation Services.

Staying informed

Please continue to monitor your mailboxes and Infoweb on a daily basis and follow our RCMP corporate social media accounts.

If you are a manager and have employees who do not have access to RCMP information systems, please ensure you are staying in touch and passing along information that may be important to them.

Additional information can be found on our main national COVID-19 Infoweb site.

I thank you for your continued professionalism, support and patience. We may be in this for the long haul, so rest when you can, take care of yourselves and your families and keep supporting each other and your communities.

Brenda Lucki

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