Nova Scotia

2 Canadian Forces members in N.S. in self-isolation over COVID-19 fears

The Department of National Defence says two members who returned from Italy after taking part in military exercises overseas have been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for the results.

Members waiting for test results, which are expected Monday or Tuesday

Two members of a crew of 71 who returned to 14 Wing Greenwood from military exercises in Italy will remain in self-isolation on the base while awaiting test results for COVID-19. (Brett Ruskin/CBC)

Update, March 7, 2020: Two Canadian Forces members who reported not feeling well after recently being in Italy for military exercises have tested negative for coronavirus, the Department of National Defence confirmed on Saturday.

Two Canadian Armed Forces members are in self-isolation at CFB Greenwood in Nova Scotia as a precaution after travelling to Italy, one of the countries hardest hit in Europe by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The members were part of a crew of 71 members who were overseas taking part in military exercises, according to the Department of National Defence.

The pair flew to the Nova Scotia base directly from Italy on Wednesday and reported not feeling well.

They have been tested for COVID-19, and DND anticipates their results will be back by Monday or Tuesday.

The department told CBC News in an email the crew's movements did not take them to any areas where COVID-19 has been active.

When the crew returned, they were screened for possible health and exposure risks while in Italy by the Canadian Forces Health Services.

The department said the two members will remain in self-isolation on the base following the advice of the medical officer of health of Nova Scotia.

The period of self-isolation will last until the test results come back, at which point next steps will be determined.

The rest of the crew are on "standard post-exercise leave for a period of three days."

"Although the risk is deemed low, the 14 Wing Flight Surgeon is in contact with provincial and federal medical authorities in order to help ensure the welfare of our members and the ongoing safety of the community. We will take every necessary precaution."

The department said anyone locally who may have come into contact with the two members has been advised to look for symptoms.

On Friday, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer said there are, so far, no cases of coronavirus in province, but added its arrival to the region is "quite probable."

Dr. Robert Strang said 23 people have tested negative for the virus in Nova Scotia.


About the Author

Anjuli Patil


Anjuli Patil is a reporter and occasional video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia's digital team.