Military bases near Quebec City and Victoria have COVID-19 outbreaks

Two Canadian military bases, including one in Quebec, have seen a new spate of COVID-19 infections.

CTV has confirmed that several people are infected at both the Valcartier military base and the one in Esquimalt, British Columbia, near Victoria.

A spokesperson for the national defence department declined to say how many cases have appeared on each base, citing security and privacy reasons.

"We do not provide COVID-19 numbers at the local level – breakdowns by base/region, military trades, operations, or other variables – due to operational security and privacy concerns," said the spokesperson.

But in total right now, there are 102 active COVID-19 cases across the Canadian military, she said.

"As with the civilian population, [Canadian Armed Forces] COVID rates fluctuate based on certain spikes in target areas," she wrote in an email.

"In this instance, there has been an increase in the numbers at CFB Valcartier and CFB Esquimalt. There are many factors that contribute to an outbreak, and it is difficult at this point to pinpoint any specific reason for the higher numbers in those regions."

Quebec City, which is very close to the Valcartier base, has seen a dramatic spike in cases that brought it to a higher case count on Thursday than Montreal, which is more than three times bigger. The city just had its current strict lockdown extended until April 18.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the armed forces has seen 1,271 positive cases, which is a lower rate than in the general population, the spokesperson noted.

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