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Sask. man died in police custody after arrest for violating COVID-19 health order, inquest hears

Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert is pictured March 6, 2020. Victoria Hospital in Prince Albert is pictured March 6, 2020.

An inquest into the December 2020 death of a Prince Albert man who died in the Victoria Hospital while in police custody continued on Wednesday.

The six-member jury at the Coronet Hotel were told that 30-year-old Jordan Norfield tested positive for COVID-19 and was staying in assisted isolation at the Holiday Inn on Dec.1.

Paul Ross, the Saskatchewan Health Authority manager responsible for ensuring people followed isolation guidelines, went to the hotel and explained to Norfield the severity of why he needed to stay in his room.

"When I was there he was out in the hallway,” Ross said. “He seemed to have understood my strong message.”

According to a witness, Norfield violated the public health order by leaving the hotel and taking a taxi downtown. He was then taken into police custody.

The inquest heard that 66 security checks should have been made while Norfield was in custody, but 75 per cent of those checks were not conducted.

Sgt. Curtis Bradbury led the jury and coroner through video clips of the inside of Norfield’s cell and the hallway outside.

Video evidence showed Norfield drinking a total of 128 cups of water throughout his time in the holding cell. He became disoriented – losing balance and shaking.

The inquest heard the sergeant on duty did not view his symptoms as a medical emergency at the time, and did not see a reason to call an ambulance.

The inquest continues Thursday morning. Top Stories

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