Ville de Gatineau
COVID-19: False claim of infection leads to charge
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Ce communiqué a été publié le 3 avril 2020. L'information dans ce communiqué pourrait ne plus être à jour et certains liens pourraient ne plus être fonctionnels.

Ville de Gatineau
News release
COVID-19: False claim of infection leads to charge

Gatineau, April 3, 2020. – Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau (SPVG) officers are first responders, and must absolutely be promptly provided with precise and truthful information about the health of the individuals with whom they are dealing during police interventions.

At a glance

During police interventions or when meeting with investigators, in accordance with the sanitary protocols established in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, people will be asked about their health. This procedure is necessary to reduce the risk of contagion and to protect the police, workers and the community.
On March 31, SPVG police were required to take a statement from a 21 year-old woman in a private residence in the Gatineau sector.
Another individual in the residence was taken to the police station to meet with investigators.
Later in the day, the SPVG was informed that the 21 year-old woman had stated that she had been infected with COVID-19. She claimed to have tested positive a few days earlier.
Upon receiving that new information, the SPVG immediately set in motion its protocol to apply exceptional COVID-19 pandemic measures. Several police officers and employees had to be quarantined, and the SPVG had to urgently decontaminate several places and vehicles.
These exceptional measures are designed to protect the health of police officers, workers and the community.
The investigation determined that the woman had lied about her health. She had never tested positive for COVID-19. In fact, she had never been tested for COVID-19.
The SPVG laid a criminal charge for obstructing the work of a peace officer before the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP). A warrant was issued to arrest the 21 year-old woman.
The subject will not be detained while waiting to appear in court.

Message to the public

The SPVG wants the public to know that it feels very strongly about the safety of its officers, staff and community. The SPVG urges residents to cooperate by respecting the sanitary measures established by the Government of Quebec.
Police officers are taking the necessary protective measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 propagation.
Criminal charges can be laid when an individual knowingly provides incorrect information about his or her health in connection with COVID-19.

Possible criminal offences

Serious criminal charges can also be laid in the following situations:
- An individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, who deliberately transmits the virus to someone else, can be charged with causing bodily harm or with criminal negligence.
- An individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, who deliberately coughs or spits at a peace officer, or exchanges bodily fluids with a peace officer, may also be criminally charged with causing bodily harm or with criminal negligence.
- An individual who fails to comply with mandatory isolation requirements following his or her return from another country or a positive COVID-19 diagnosis could face criminal charges of public nuisance and/or a fine.
- A provision in the Public Health Act enables police officers to file a general offence report with the DPCP. Fines range from $1,000 to $6,000.

The SPVG urges anyone wishing to report a problem or a disturbing situation to call 819-246-0222.

The SPVG wants to remind everyone that 911 calls are reserved for emergencies. Never call 911 for information about government directives or their enforcement.

Associated link

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Québec

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Published by
Service de police de la Ville de Gatineau
Renée-Anne St-Amant
Agente relationniste
Service de police
Ville de Gatineau

À propos de Gatineau

Reconnue pour sa qualité de vie, Gatineau est une ville de 292 000 habitants. Elle est située sur la rive nord de la rivière des Outaouais, et s'étend à l'est et à l'ouest de la rivière Gatineau.

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