Calgary

Police have taken 29 vulnerable Calgarians to hospital under COVID health orders since April

Since the early days of the pandemic, Calgary police have been tasked with finding vulnerable citizens who have tested positive for COVID-19 but have nowhere to self-isolate.

Form 3 orders are meant to help isolate those not able to do so on their own

Calgary police say they've been asked 35 times to locate and transport vulnerable Calgarians who tested positive for COVID-19 and have located 29 of them. (David Bell/CBC)

Since the early days of the pandemic, Calgary police have been tasked with finding vulnerable citizens who have tested positive for COVID-19 but have nowhere to self-isolate.

Staff Sgt. Robert Rutledge says they've been asked 35 times since April to find and transport those individuals to a hospital in order to get them off the street, and have located all but six. 

The certificates — known as a Form 3 — expire after seven days. 

"Generally, they're the vulnerable population," said Rutledge. 

"So those that maybe have mental health issues or addiction issues, [those who] don't have the financial supports in place to self-quarantine or self-isolate, or just generally don't have a support system in place that you and I normally would. So generally, it's the vulnerable population, homeless and such."

Fineable offences are separate

The process is different for those who have the ability to isolate but choose not to. Those individuals can be fined under provincial health orders, and Rutledge says police have issued 38 tickets to those who failed to comply. 

Rutledge says those picked up on a Form 3 don't necessarily stay at the hospital. That's simply the designated drop-off zone where health officials can then decide on the best course of treatment and isolation. 

He says "very rarely" has he heard of people being unco-operative when police track them down for transport. 

"I don't think they're being unco-operative because there's a Form 3. It's, you know, likely due to an addiction issue or a mental health issue," said Rutledge.

With files from Tahirih Foroozan.

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