April 9, 2020

Military Crew in Isolation for COVID-19 readiness


A Royal Canadian Air Force contingent joins their Navy colleagues in isolation in a Halifax hotel in preparation for deployment to sea where they will be able to travel to sites should their assistance be required in support of the effort against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The RCAF members participating in the 14-day isolation belong to the Helicopter Air Detachment (HELAIRDET), the team that operates and maintains the RCAF’s CH-148 Cyclone helicopter that will accompany HMCS Ville de Quebec.

The purpose of the isolation is to weed out anyone who might be carrying the COVID-19 virus; the close proximity to crewmates on navy ships prevent any kind of social distancing. Checkpoints at the hotel entrances are manned by military personnel to prevent violations of the isolation order.

According to CBC reports, those in isolation will be free to consume alcohol and cannabis edibles. Smoking anything, however, is not permitted and there will be no smokers participating in the mission.

On a related note, two Russian cosmonauts and one American astronaut are on their way to the International Space Station (ISS) since Thursday (April 9) after also completing two weeks in isolation as a measure to prevent the pandemic from reaching orbit. Similar periods of isolation are a common practice before space missions as a measure to prevent space-bound crew members from carrying cold or flu viruses to the ISS.

Photo credit: Leading Seaman Dan Bard