18-year-old allegedly fakes COVID-19 diagnosis to get out of work at Ontario McDonald's
TORONTO -- An 18-year-old Hamilton, Ont. woman allegedly created a fake doctor’s note stating that she had tested positive for COVID-19 in order to get out of her shift at a local McDonald’s.
On Monday, police officers were notified by Hamilton Public Health Services that the individual had created a “fake physician’s note with fraudulent medical information” about testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
The fake note was reportedly given to a supervisor at the McDonald’s location, located on Rymal Road, four days prior.
The restaurant took “immediate safety actions” after receiving the note, police said, by closing the store entirely, sending all employees home to self-isolate.
“The restaurant remained closed for several days while professional cleaning services worked to sanitize the store,” investigators stated in a news release issued on Friday morning. “There has been a significant impact on the restaurant, local customers and employees which instigate the need for police involvement.”
Const. Lorraine Edwards said “that one action had a wide community impact.”
“It comes back to making sure that our community understands the severity of this type of false claim,” she said. “The impact it had when they thought that they were working with a colleague that tested positive, the emotional impact on our community, the number of customers that visited the restaurant within that time date and thought that they might have been exposed.”
Edwards added that given what had occurred, McDonald’s did “all the right things” by closing, sending employees to self-isolate and contacting police to investigate the matter.
In a statement, McDonald’s said these allegations are being taken seriously.
“When the fraud was confirmed by the Hamilton Police Service, our team offered full cooperation,” the company said. “We maintain that closing the restaurant was the right thing to do to protect the health and well-being of our people, our guests and our community.”
The woman was arrested on Thursday and is now facing charges, including mischief over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000.