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Army reservists begin self-isolating to become ‘COVID-free soldiers’ in Vernon, B.C.

A group of reservists will begin self-isolating at the Vernon Military Camp, beginning on Tuesday. The Canadian Press

Lower Mainland reservists will begin sequestering themselves at the Vernon Military Camp beginning on Tuesday, according to the Canadian Armed Forces.

“Sequestration is an extreme form of isolation,” said Col. Paul Ursich, commander of the Land Component Command for JTF(P), in a social media post.

“Soldiers will have no interaction with family, friends or even colleagues. Their meals will be delivered and they’ll be expected to stay isolated.”

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Ursich continued, “It will be challenging, but COVID-free soldiers are of immense tactical value.”

The 30 reservists will be part of the Joint Task Force (Pacific), which leads the military in B.C. against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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According to the Canadian Armed Forces, if the province or federal government asks, these COVID-free personnel can then be sent into vulnerable populations.

“We don’t plan for the best-case scenario, we plan for the worst,” said Ursich.

“A remote First Nations community or a town with a large elderly population, these are places where we want to be especially sure our help doesn’t inadvertently make things worse.

“Sequestration provides that extra layer of comfort.”

There are more than 830 reservists in B.C. on full-time service ready to respond to government requests for help in the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Canadian Armed Forces.

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