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Newfoundland woman arrested for refusing to self isolate after talking to police

Last Updated Mar 25, 2020 at 10:14 am EDT

An Air Canada flight from Mexico City arrives at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Friday, March 20, 2020. A union official says Air Canada is laying off more than 5,000 flight attendants as the country's largest airline cuts routes and parks planes due to the coronavirus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — 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.

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.

“If you’re going to put our community at risk, we will follow up on those measures,” Cadigan said.

The woman was to appear in court via video link

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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