Law enforcement officers are now stationed outside the home of a Kentucky coronavirus patient after refusing to stay under quarantine at the hospital.
The 53-year-old man from Nelson County, who tested positive at the University of Louisville, checked himself out against medical advice.
He also falsified his whereabouts when he gave a Meade County address, but official later learned that he resides in Nelson County.
Governor Andy Beshear said at a press conference that the Lincoln Trail District Health Department asked him to self-quarantine, but the man also refused to self-isolate at home.
In response, armed Kentucky deputies were sent to his home to enforce the isolation of the man and prevent him from spreading the virus.
“It’s a step I hoped I’d never have to take, but we can’t allow one person who we know has the virus to refuse to protect their neighbors,” he said while addressing the man’s refusal to the quarantine.
Nelson County Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa, one of the officers dispatched, told interviewers, “We’re going to be out here 24/7 for two weeks.”
According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts declared a state of emergency in order to invoke a little-known statute that allows the governor to enforce a “self-isolation or quarantine.”
“We just have to do what it takes to lessen the spread of this coronavirus and I don’t want to be the governor that waits two weeks too late to take some of those steps,” the governor said.
“And all we need from people — we’ve all gotta follow these guidelines. We need everybody’s help to do it,” he added.
Beshear also revealed that he himself had undergone testing for the coronavirus, and came back negative, after attending a public event in Louisville where one attendee later tested positive.
“This, right now, certainly is us against the coronavirus”