MONTREAL -- Quebec City police responded to a call Friday afternoon to halt a woman who had tested positive for COVID-19 and left her home where she was in isolation. She was arrested around 2 p.m.

According to SPVQ officer Martin Roy, the woman was stopped outside of the Limoilou neighbourhood of Quebec City after she left her home where she was in isolation.

“The person didn’t cause us any trouble and she followed us to the hospital,” said Roy.

According to the officer, the region’s health authority - the CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale - tried to contact the person at home by phone. The woman did not want to stay home, said Roy.

The CIUSSS then called police to report that she was not respecting her isolation, and the police sent a car to verify that she was at home.

The CIUSSS action followed guidelines set in place during the public health emergency.

"As a first step, in order to ensure that the person complies with the compulsory isolation instruction, local police surveillance would be ensured for a certain time,” wrote communications officer Mathieu Boivin. "However, if this person were to maintain non-compliance with the instructions, a ‘stop acting’ (order) would then come into effect and the person would be taken care of and driven to a place that was safe for him or her and for the population, and where management public health could ensure compliance with health guidelines.”

The officers took all precautions including gloves and masks to ensure they were not infected, and escorted the woman to the COVID-19 screening clinic in Quebec City.

Roy said she cooperated completely and was not charged with any crime.


During the recently declared public health emergency, Quebec’s Public Health Act gives authorities greater powers if someone jeopardizes public health. Premier Francois Legault declared the 10-day emergency Mar. 14.

The SQ announced Friday that it has set up a special operation throughout Quebec to ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officers from the provincial police service have been reassigned to “nerve centres in municipalities” to assist the public health agencies, the SQ said in a news release.

The SQ added that access to police stations is now restricted and those wanting to report to a station will be asked to pick up an outside phone. If there is no phone available, citizens are asked to call *4141 or 310-4141.

The SQ has also set up a special page on its website with COVID-19-related information.