The Ontario Provincial Police has confirmed that its first officer has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.
The officer serves the Nipissing West detachment of the police service in northeastern Ontario. They are currently in self-isolation and recovering at home, OPP say.
The source of infection for the presumptive positive case is currently unclear, according to OPP Sgt. Carolle Dionne.
“They did a proactive self-isolation on March 17 when they started exhibiting some COVID-related symptoms and sought medical advice,” Dionne told Global News. “They were diagnosed on the 21st of March.”
Dionne said the OPP is working with the local health unit to see who the officer may have been in contact with prior to self-isolating.
Police say the officer’s name and specific work location are being withheld to protect their privacy.
The provincial police service also says it was made aware of the presumptive diagnosis on Saturday.
According to Dionne, there are other OPP officers in self-isolation across the province, including at the Nipissing West detachment.
“If it’s a result of this case particularly, I don’t have those specifics,” the provincial police sergeant said.
Dionne said the OPP has already been practicing social distancing, personal protection and ensuring equipment is sanitized after each use for each officer.
“Given increased testing and interventions underway, additional presumptive positive diagnoses are expected across Ontario,” provincial police say.
On Monday, Premier Doug Ford ordered all non-essential Ontario businesses to close by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24. The order will be in place for at least 14 days.
In Ontario, there have been seven deaths related to COVID-19 as of Tuesday.