A Kentucky man, who tested positive for coronavirus, checked himself out of a hospital against the doctors’ wishes, and was then placed in a mandatory quarantine by police officers surrounding his home.
The forced isolation will result in police officers surrounding the man’s house for the next two weeks as he suffers through the virus without medical help.
In a press conference, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said “It’s a step I hoped that I’d never have to take,” before adding, “But I can’t allow one person who we know has this virus to refuse to protect their neighbors.”
While Beshear was vague on how the forced isolation was achieved, it was reported by local media that police officers have parked outside the man’s home, and will remain there for at least two weeks.
Nelson County Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa confirmed deputies from his office are enforcing the isolation of a man who officials say tested positive for the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19.
“We’re going to be out here 24/7 for two weeks,” he said in a phone interview with The Standard. He said he was on the scene personally when a reporter for The Standard spoke with him. He said the man “was cooperating now.”
He declined to give the location of the residence.
A Kentucky judge defended the decision, citing public safety.
Kentucky Judge Executive Dean Watts claimed, “This is about us. It’s not about I.”
Watts continued, “We are a community, and you need to keep your community safe. You need to keep your family safe, so quarantine is a must, and if we have to, we’ll do it by force.”
A man in #NelsonCountyKY who has a confirmed case of the #coronavirus refused to self isolate, @AndyBeshearKY said today. Judge Executive Dean Watts says that patient is now quarantined. @WDRBNews #COVIDー19 #CoronavirusPandemic pic.twitter.com/3tcMqbFfDW
— Chad K. Mills (@ChadKMills) March 14, 2020
President Donald Trump has reportedly considered a ban on interstate travel, as well as mandatory quarantines and curfews, as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.