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Coronavirus: Saskatchewan RCMP suspend criminal record checks, exception for employment

Edson RCMP have charged a 50-year-old teacher with child luring. Global News

Saskatchewan RCMP detachments will not be conducting criminal record checks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made “out of respect for social distancing, and adhering to the recommendations from health professionals across Canada,” states a press release sent by police Tuesday.

“We remain committed to reassessing this plan and communicating our approach.”

There will be an exception for employment checks, the release states.

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RCMP detachments will remain open to the public. Officers will maintain community presences.

Operators will now ask two additional questions to assess potential health issues, states the press release: “Are you or any member of your residence ill at this time? Have you or any member of your residence had contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID 19?”

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RCMP continue to rely on the public as they police the province and note in the press release that there is now increased cleaning happening in facilities and vehicles.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan passes emergency legislation to deal with COVID-19'
Saskatchewan passes emergency legislation to deal with COVID-19

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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