The RCMP says six of its employees have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

The police force said in a statement Friday that the cases were diagnosed in B.C., Alberta and Ontario.

The RCMP did not provide additional details on those affected or their roles within the organization.

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The police force said it is taking precautions to protect employees and the public during the pandemic.

“As soon as any RCMP employee learns of a possible exposure to the virus, we take immediate precautions,” the RCMP said.

“The RCMP will continue to work closely with public health authorities to ensure proper monitoring and notification protocols are maintained. We of course respect our employees’ right to privacy and will not be identifying them publicly.”

Across Canada, more than 4,500 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

As of Friday, more than 50 people have succumbed to the illness, a total that exceeds that of the 2003 SARS outbreak.

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