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Ottawa woman, 53, charged after breaking quarantine to work in long-term care home: police

A 53-year-old Ottawa woman has been charged under the federal Quarantine Act after police say she violated a self-isolation order.
A 53-year-old Ottawa woman has been charged under the federal Quarantine Act after police say she violated a self-isolation order. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

An Ottawa woman has been charged under Canada’s Quarantine Act after police say she violated self-isolation orders to work at a long-term health facility in the city.

The Ottawa Police Service said it received a complaint on Oct. 2 that a 53-year-old woman had broken quarantine following a trip abroad.

Under the federal Quarantine Act, travellers must self-isolate for a 14-day period after returning from travel outside of Canada to reduce transmission risk of the novel coronavirus.

In this instance, the woman returned to Canada on Sept. 26 and was required to quarantine until Oct. 9, police say.

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Instead, she left her residence and went to work on Sept. 30 at a long-term care facility in Ottawa.

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The specific care home has not been disclosed.

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When management learned of the situation, police say, the woman was immediately sent home. The long-term care home then activated cleaning and isolation protocols and informed anybody who had been in contact with the woman.

To date, none of the long-term care home’s residents have tested positive for the coronavirus as a result of the breach, police say.

Read more: Ottawa Hospital reports coronavirus outbreak amid 93 new COVID-19 cases in the capital

For failing to comply with the self-isolation requirement and for exposing others to significant risk, the woman in question has been charged with violating two sections of the Quarantine Act.

An Ottawa police spokesperson told Global News they are withholding the identity of the woman because violations of the Quarantine Act aren’t considered criminal offences.

Violating the self-isolation order of the Quarantine Act comes with a fine of up to $750,000 and possible jail time of up to six months.

Those found to have put others at risk while contravening the act are subject to fines of up to $1 million and up to three years in prison.

The woman is due in court on Nov. 24.

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The Ottawa police say breaches of the quarantine act should be reported to them, while non-compliance with the city’s mask bylaws or provincial restrictions related to the coronavirus should be reported to bylaw services.

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