Blue Line

Nearly 400 calls to Saskatchewan phone line about COVID-19 violations

April 8, 2020  By The Canadian Press

REGINA — The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency says nearly 400 complaints about people violating COVID-19 health orders have been made to a toll-free line.

The province launched the phone line March 25 to handle pandemic-related questions not pertaining to health.

It said it has received 397 calls about potential violations since March 28.

Police in Regina confirmed Tuesday that a 23-year-old woman ticketed nearly $3,000 for violating a health order had tested positive for COVID-19.


“Typically, a police service would not give out health information, but it has been deemed necessary to confirm the individual’s COVID-19-positive status in this case, given the circumstances we all face with the COVID-19 pandemic,” police spokeswoman Elizabeth Popowich said in a release.

Officers had announced Monday that the woman was given the ticket under the Public Health Act for not following a 14-day mandatory self-isolation rule.

Popowich said public health officials are leading the investigation as to where the woman had been and whom she had contact with.

A spokeswoman for the Saskatchewan Health Authority didn’t release further details, citing privacy legislation.

“Contacts who were at risk of exposure will be communicated with directly as part of the contact tracing process that occurs and provided direction regarding care,” said Amanda Purcell.

“If, during a contact investigation, the local medical health officer believes they cannot identify those at greatest risk for exposure — a public alert related to a specific case will be issued.”

To slow the spread of COVID-19, the province’s chief medical health officer has ordered the closure of many businesses, banned gatherings of more than 10 people and made self-isolation mandatory for people returning from international travel and those who have the virus.

Premier Scott Moe last month granted powers to police agencies to enforce the orders and asked people who know if others are not self-isolating to call police.

On Tuesday, the province reported seven new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 260. Three residents have died, seven are in hospital and 88 have recovered.

The Ministry of Health said most of the cases are related to travel.


– Stephanie Taylor

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 7, 2020.


News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2020

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