Canada's national police force announced Friday, Apr. 10, 2020, that officers with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have been asked by federal public health officials to help them enforce the COVID-19 quarantine measures announced on March 25, 2020. (CBC)

RCMP issues warning following coughing threats against officers

Authorities in Nova Scotia are reporting a handful of incidents across the province in which people who claim to have COVID-19 have threatened to deliberately cough on RCMP police officers.

No charges have yet been laid, but the RCMP says it could lay assault-related charges on a case-by-basis if similar incidents occur.

“A threat to transmit the COVID-19 virus is a threat to the wellbeing and health of our members, which is a criminal offence,” said Cpl. Jennifer Clarke, a spokesperson for the force.

“To actually carry out these threats would be an assault on a peace officer.”

The warning follows an incident at a rooming house in New Brunswick last week.

Two men there face assault charges after they allegedly coughed on a housemate who had accused them of not self-isolating following their return from a trip to the Dominican Republic.

Both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick now require people who have travelled outside their home province to self-isolate for 14 days when they return.

With files from CBC (Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon, Cornneil Smith), The Canadian Press

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