A 53-year-old Ottawa woman is facing charges under the federal Quarantine Act after Ottawa police say she failed to self-isolate for 14 days after travelling abroad and returned to work at a long-term care home.
Ottawa Police say information was received indicating that an Ottawa woman had travelled abroad. She returned to Canada on Sept. 26, so she was required under federal law to quarantine for 14 days, until Oct. 9
"The woman decided not to respect this order and went to work on Sept. 30 at a long-term health facility in Ottawa," police said in a news release. "When management was apprised of the situation, she was immediately sent home. The facility immediately activated mitigating self-isolation and cleaning protocols and informed all persons that had been in contact with the subject."
Police say none of the residents of the long-term care facility have tested positive for COVID-19 as a result of the woman attending work.
Ottawa police say this is the first person they have charged under the Quarantine Act during the pandemic.
The woman is charged with failing to comply with entry condition under section 58 of the Quarantine Act and cause risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm under section 67 of the Quarantine Act.
The maximum penalty for causing risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm is a $1 million fine and three years in prison. For failing to self-isolate for 14 days, she faces a $750,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
Police did not release the name of the woman, nor where she worked. The woman is due in court on Nov. 24.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson's office issued a statement following the announcement of the charges.
"Mayor Watson was disturbed to learn about the alleged carelessness of the individual in question. This type of reckless behaviour could have harmed their colleagues, and more importantly, the residents of the long term care home. We must all do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community."