Brooks County, Texas, officials are willing to arrest any patients positive for COVID-19 who refuse to self-isolate in their homes.
What are the details?
According to a Tuesday report from KTVT-TV, the county issued a countywide warning via Facebook promising that any resident who tests positive for coronavirus and refuses to self-quarantine could face jail time.
The Facebook post cites Texas Penal Code 22.05 (a), which states, "A person commits an offense if he recklessly engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury."
The Facebook post has been widely reported, and a portion of the warning reads, "Any person who has tested positive for Covid-19, and has not subsequently tested negative, must isolate themselves from other people until they receive a negative result."
"Please note that the victim does not have to get Covid-19 but just be exposed to it without previous warning," the notice continues. "Appearing in public after testing 'Positive' EXCEPT to get medical care, can lead to your arrest."
The warning notes that anyone who believes they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 who did not self-isolate should call their local law enforcement agency or the Brooks County Attorney's Office.
The notice was signed by David T. Garcia, Brooks County Attorney.
In a statement, Garcia told KVII-TV that the county will prosecute people for violating the directive.
"If you're going to go out and endanger other people, and we find out about it, we will prosecute you," he explained. "People have not really embraced the dangers of COVID-19. It's dangerous. It's killing people, and it's making people very sick. So either do it because you're concerned about others or do it because you're going to be punished if you don't."
He added, "There's a number of statutes out there that can be used so once you test positive, stay home."