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Florida couple arrested for breaking COVID-19 quarantine, face up to 60 days in jail

A property manager presented police with footage of the couple outside of their home

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

A Florida couple have been jailed for breaking quarantine after they tested positive for COVID-19.

Key West residents Jose Antonio Freire Interian, 24, and Yohana Gonzalez, 26, tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month. On July 14, Interian announced on Facebook that he had "just tested positive for COVID-19," and warned that anyone who was in contact with him should get tested for the novel coronavirus.

Interian and Gonzalez were ordered by the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County to quarantine at home and wear face masks around other people. They were ordered to stay at home for 14 days.

The property manager at the apartment where the couple were supposed to quarantine noticed they were not following the quarantine order. Surveillance video at the apartment building caught Interian walking his dog, washing his car, and going to a grocery store, according to the Miami Herald.

On Wednesday, the property manager informed the Key West Police that Gonzalez and Interian were not abiding by the quarantine order. The property manager provided the surveillance footage to authorities.

"There were complaints from the neighborhood of them continuing to be outside, going about normal life functions," Key West City Manager Greg Veliz said. "An officer took the video to the judge and the judge signed the warrant."

The couple were arrested on Wednesday. They were taken to the Stock Island Detention Center and released on Thursday after posting a $1,000 bond.

Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokesman Adam Linhardt said the couple were isolated from other inmates in "negative pressure" rooms where the air is not recirculated into other parts of the jail.

"The whole idea is to keep them apart from the general population," Linhardt said. "We've had people in those rooms before we've suspected of having it. If they show symptoms, that's where people are quarantined."

They were charged with violating isolation rules for a quarantine and violating emergency management disaster preparedness rules, according to jail records. Both charges are second-degree misdemeanors, which carry penalties of up to 60 days in jail.

"Because you have failed to voluntarily remain in your residence, this order is necessary to protect the public health," according to the department of health.

Earlier this month, a Kentucky family was placed under house arrest after one of them tested positive for COVID-19. Elizabeth Linscott tested positive for the coronavirus and refused to sign papers promising to self-quarantine. The Hardin County Health Department ordered the couple to wear ankle monitors and were forbidden to leave their home.

At least 182 people have been arrested for violating Hawaii's 14-day mandatory quarantine for all incoming travelers. A New York City man was arrested because he was caught violating the state's quarantine order after he posted beach photos on his Instagram account.

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