Caught breaking COVID-19 self-isolation rules? You could be taken to Sask. Hospital North Battleford
SASKATOON -- Saskatoon police have been called twice to transfer people caught breaking COVID-19 self-isolation rules to Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford.
Saskatoon Police Service Deputy Chief Mitch Yuzdepski said the drive, combined with a deep clean of the police vehicle, can take an officer away from their regular duties for about six hours.
“It’s quite the process,” Yuzdepski told CTV News.
“There’s an anxiety among our members as well because they are knowingly exposing themselves to someone who may be COVID positive.”
Anyone identified by health officers as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and all travellers returning from international destinations must self-isolate for two weeks.
If found breaking the mandatory isolation, a $2,000 fine could be issued and a person could be taken to a unit in the Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said a unit at the Sask. Hospital North Battleford is designated for those not complying with the self-isolation order.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 23 people have been taken to the unit, according to the SHA.
Police aren’t being compensated by the SHA for the extra work out of their jurisdiction, but Yuzdepski said it’s a part of pandemic response.
“We’re all having to do more,” he said.
Under Social Services programming, the province organizes hotel stays for those who need to self-isolate, but don’t have a place to go.
Mervin Checkosis is using the service, staying at a Saskatoon hotel, after coming in contact with a COVID-19 case at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.
Checkosis said if people leave the hotel and break the isolation order, they’re taken to North Battleford.
“A couple people have left here on their own and since been picked up and put in North Battleford,” Checkosis told CTV News in a call from his hotel room.
“When I first arrived here, there was a woman getting pretty mad at the staff. She was being very belligerent and she stormed off on her own. I don’t know if she’s one of the ones in North Battleford now, but I haven’t seen her since.”
Checkosis’ two-week isolation period ends on Monday. He said the only times he sees people is when he goes outside for a smoke.
Yuzdepski s urging everyone to follow the public health orders, to avoid putting officers and the public at risk.