COVID-19 patients, family members break quarantine orders

Some COVID-19 patients and their family members are ignoring quarantine orders, complicating disease containment efforts for hospitals and public health officials.

In Kentucky, a man with COVID-19 checked himself out of the hospital against medical advice and refused to self-quarantine, reports The Mercury News. Sheriff's deputies have been parked outside the man's house 24/7 to make sure he is complying with his quarantine. 

"It's a step I hoped that I'd never have to take," Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear said in a news conference, according to The Mercury News. "But I can't allow one person who we know has this virus to refuse to protect their neighbors."

A New Jersey woman tested positive for COVID-19 at East Orange (N.J.) General Hospital March 14, but left the facility after giving employees a fake name and address. Health officials urged the woman to come forward, and she was later found, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said in a March 17 tweet.

In Missouri, a man broke quarantine recommendations March 5 to take his daughter to a school father-daughter dance. The man's other daughter had tested positive for COVID-19 that same day, reports TIME.

While the U.S. government has not implemented national quarantine or isolation guidelines, each state has its own enforcement laws.

"These laws can vary from state to state and can be specific or broad," the CDC's website says. "In most states, breaking a quarantine order is a criminal misdemeanor."

More articles on public health:
15 coronavirus resource sites created by hospitals
5 tips on talking to patients about coronavirus, from NIH Director Dr. Anthony Fauci
5 health systems with in-house COVID-19 testing

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