Man showing up at ex’s home saying he has COVID-19 leads to charges: Edmonton police

Edmonton police said several charges have been laid after a man showed up at his ex’s house Thursday night, where he allegedly claimed to have COVID-19 and said she had to let him stay.

Police in the southwest part of the city were called around 9:15 p.m. by the woman. According to police, the woman’s ex-common law partner threatened her with having COVID-19 and stated they now had to remain in the home together.

The man was under conditions not to contact his ex, police said.

READ MORE: Edmonton police warning of coronavirus scams after 3 lose more than $17K

Officers arrived and before entering the home, put on gloves, masks and protective eye wear personal protective equipment.

Police said the accused appeared to be intoxicated, but cooperated with officers and was arrested.

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Police said the suspect did not display any symptoms, and he later told officers that he did not test positive and in fact, has never been tested for the coronavirus.

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Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath and sometimes muscle pain, poor appetite or smell, and fatigue.

READ MORE: ‘No playbook’ for coronavirus symptoms, but early data shows pattern: experts

The man was charged with five breaches of conditions and uttering threats regarding his COVID-19 statements. The man wasn’t named to protect the victim’s identity, police said.

Police and peace officers across the province have been given the go-ahead from the Alberta government to enforce public health orders in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The EPS said it will continue to utilize communication and education as the primary tools for COVID-19 responses, however enforcement is an option when people disregard distancing orders established in the interest of public safety. Fines could range anywhere from $1,000 to $500,000, depending on the circumstances.

READ MORE: Albertans who break coronavirus health orders could pay up to $500K fine

Violators may be subject to tickets of $1,000 per occurrence, according to the provincial government. Courts could administer fines of up to $100,000 for a first offence and up to $500,000 for a subsequent offence for more serious violations.

Anyone who sees people or businesses not following the rules is asked not to call 911, but instead file a complaint online.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

— With files from Caley Ramsay, Global News

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