Grieving Ottawa woman returns to Canada after waiting three days for negative COVID-19 test results

OTTAWA — An Ottawa woman who was trapped in the United States waiting for her negative COVID-19 test result is now back on Canadian soil and driving home to her grieving children following the death of her father.

After waiting three days in Port Huron, Michigan for the results, Jamie Lelievre-Pettipiece tells CTV News Ottawa she received a negative COVID-19 test result Thursday morning and crossed the border into Canada at Sarnia shortly after.

The mother of two drove from Ottawa to Michigan after her father suffered a stroke on Saturday. He passed away on Sunday.

Effective Feb. 15, the federal government requires travellers to show the results of a COVID-19 test when entering the country by land. Negative tests need to be taken within three days of the scheduled arrival at the border.

On Monday, Lelievre-Pettipiece found a clinic in Port Huron and paid $119 for the COVID-19 test to comply with the new Canadian regulations.

On Wednesday afternoon, a frustrated Lelievre-Pettipiece was still waiting for the results of her COVID-19 test so she could cross the border.

“Just frustration. We followed all the protocols; we got our test as soon as we possibly could, as soon as we arrived here so that we would meet the time constraints and follow the policy,” said Lelievre-Pettipiece on Wednesday. “We’ve been very hyper-aware of keeping low contact and wearing masks and doing everything we need to do to get home safely and be safe.”

Lelievre-Pettipiece tried to enter Canada Wednesday at the Blue Water Bridge connecting Port Huron and Sarnia, but received a blunt answer from the Canada Border Services Agency agent.

“You have two options: You can turn around and go back to America and wait for your results or go to Toronto for your quarantine.”

The federal government has said travellers would be required to pay for the cost of the hotel and all associated costs for food, cleaning and security.

Now that she has received the negative COVID-19 test result, Lelievre-Pettipiece was driving through Ontario to return to Ottawa.

“We just want to get home and be with the kids; there are reasons that we need to for the kids. Emotional issues with the kids we need to take care of as well,” said Lelievre-Pettipiece on Wednesday. “Going through a loss, I just want to feel a sense of normalcy. I just want to be in my home; I just want to be back home.”

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