Emergency services taking new precautions, preparing for impact of COVID-19

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Officer staffing levels at the Calgary Police Service could be in for an adjustment if the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 virus reaches the city’s law enforcement agency.

While CPS hasn’t seen a significant change in its call load due to the pandemic, Calgary police Supt. Steve Barlow said officers are taking extra precautions to avoid potential infection from the new coronavirus.

Should officers get sick, it could have an effect on the number of officers the police service is able to deploy.

“That’s something that we prepare for and are always preparing for,” Barlow told reporters during a teleconference on Wednesday.

“We had to do that for our floods. We looked at it when we were sending officers up to (Fort McMurray) for the fires. We are planning for it right now. So far, we’re in very good shape and our districts are looking after the staffing, but we are planning for worst-case scenarios if required.”

Barlow confirmed that some Calgary police officers have been tested for COVID-19 and remain in self-isolation at the direction of Alberta Health Services.

But there have been no confirmed cases of the virus among that group.

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