Police in western Newfoundland say a woman arrested for refusing to stay at home after she returned from a trip outside the province is expected to make a court appearance today.
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary says the 53-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday in Corner Brook for violating public health emergency orders aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Const. James Cadigan says officers responded to complaints alleging the woman was not self-isolating for 14 days, as required under the Public Health Protection and Promotion Act.
Cadigan says officers spoke to the woman and arrested her for failing to comply with the law, which could lead to a fine between $500 and $2,500 and a jail sentence of up to six months.
The police spokesman confirmed a public reporting system introduced on the weekend has received more than 400 complaints from people reporting suspected contraventions of health directives.
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Cadigan says police have resolved 27 complaints by contacting the person and educating them about the measures, but in the Corner Brook case the woman was not compliant and was held in a jail cell overnight.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.
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