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Troops ordered to keep guard up to protect military from COVID-19 resurgence

OTTAWA — Top defence officials have ordered Canadian troops to keep up their guard against COVID-19 while painting a gloomy picture of how the pandemic could affect the military and country.

The order is in a new directive to Canadian military personnel and Defence Department officials from chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance and Defence Department deputy minister Jody Thomas.

The two say complacency about physical-distancing, mask-wearing and other public health measures as the greatest threat to the military when it comes to COVID-19.

At the same time, they suggest the pandemic will get worse before it gets better, with expectations it could last another 12 months or longer and manifest in a number of waves across the country.

To that end, they expect to see more military members get infected as schools remain open while shortages of COVID-19 testing equipment and personal protective equipment will persist.

Vance and Thomas say there is also a higher risk of cyber attacks against service members working from home, and that the spread of rumours and misinformation around COVID-19 will continue.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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