Cadet military training camp in Ottawa hit by COVID outbreak

“Despite best efforts, 55 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at Connaught CTC over the summer, of which the largest cluster involved 24 individual cases”

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An outbreak of COVID-19 this summer at a military training camp in Ottawa resulted in 55 staff and cadets contracting the virus.

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Military sources have contacted this newspaper about the outbreak at the Connaught Cadet Training Center, raising concerns about what they claim was mistreatment of cadets, who were at times left without food. In one incident, an adult staff member with COVID who did not receive a meal left camp for a fast food outlet.

In a statement, the Canadian Forces acknowledged that there had been an outbreak at the camp. “Despite best efforts, 55 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at Connaught CTC over the summer, the largest cluster of which involved 24 individual cases,” explained Major Jenn Jackson, public affairs officer for the cadets. « To ensure physical distancing, two tents (designed to accommodate up to 48 people each) have been designated specifically as isolation areas. »

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Jackson said the peak of the outbreak was July 21-25. There were approximately 430 cadets and staff at the camp.

Isolation protocol for the camp is to house COVID positive cases in designated tents, where individuals are asked to follow provincial health measures and maintain social distancing. The length of isolation was five days, and the isolation period began the day after the onset of symptoms, receiving a positive test result, Jackson noted. After the isolation period ended, the individual was required to wear a medical mask at all times for an additional five days.

Jackson said the food was delivered to the tents during regular meal times and included accommodations for allergies and specific diets, but she acknowledged that « the overall selection was more limited than what is typically available in the dining room. to eat ».

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Jackson noted that due to « miscommunication », an adult member of staff did not receive food and missed two meals. « They briefly left camp, going to a drive-thru while wearing their masks, which is protocol in their home province, » Jackson noted. “Upon their return, they were informed of Ontario’s health regulations and the obligation to remain at CTC Connaught for the duration of their isolation.

The adult member of staff received meals for the remainder of his isolation in the tent.

Connaught Cadet Training Center staff includes on-site medical personnel. Cadets and staff with COVID-19 were monitored hourly by operations staff and provided regular medical support, including administration of medication to alleviate symptoms, Jackson said.

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Earlier this month, Ottawa Public Health warned that levels of COVID-19 remained « very high » in the capital and stressed that everyone should maintain the « layers of protection » helping to limit transmission.

In its August 18 COVID update, Ottawa Public Health noted that new COVID-19-related hospitalizations and new confirmed outbreaks were moderate and declining. OPH, however, reiterated that COVID levels continue to remain high.

According to the latest update from OPH, there were 122 patients with COVID-19 in Ottawa hospitals. Additionally, there were 286 new confirmed cases. In total, there were 845 active cases. The number of cases, however, is an underestimate of the true number of people with COVID-19, OPH noted.

Ontario distributes free rapid antigen tests at pharmacies and grocery stores.

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