Nfld. & Labrador

RCMP temporarily closes St. John's HQ after employee tests positive for COVID-19

The RCMP's main building in Newfoundland and Labrador is undergoing extra cleaning after an employee who works there tested positive for COVID-19, the force said Monday morning.

St. John's headquarters closed until further notice for cleaning

The RCMP headquarters on White Hills Road in St. John's is closed until further notice as sanitization takes place, say police. (Bill Perks)

An employee at the RCMP's Newfoundland and Labrador headquarters has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the closure of the building in St. John's for at least a day, police announced Monday morning.

The person is in self-isolation, RCMP said in a news release, as contract tracing is underway.

The employee did not interact with the public in their job, nor did they have any contact with members of the public who have been at the headquarters on White Hills Road, in the city's east end.

However, spokesperson Glenda Power said the employee did interact with "a small number of colleagues within headquarters in a defined area." Those employees are following public health guidance, she said.

Police didn't give any other information about the person's identity, citing privacy reasons.

The building is closed on Monday "while additional sanitization processes take place," police said, advising there would be an update when it reopens, as well as if any other employees test positive.

"As residents of the communities we live and serve in, RCMP employees are not immune to the risks of COVID-19," says the police statement.

"We have implemented many measures to do our part to protect our employees and the residents we serve."

It's unclear when the employee tested positive and whether that person has already been counted among those disclosed by the Department of Health.

Power directed questions about the source of infection to public health officials. She said many employees were working remotely Monday, and she expects cleaning at headquarters to wrap up by the end of the day or Tuesday. 

At the moment, operations are continuing as normal, she said.

The chief medical officer of health, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, along with Premier Andrew Furey and Health Minister John Haggie, will update the province's pandemic situation at 2 p.m. NT Monday afternoon.

The RCMP closure comes just after Mount Pearl Senior High School announced it will be closed until further notice, after two cases at the school were identified.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador