The Mississippi State Department of Health on Friday issued a new order saying anyone infected with COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days or face possible misdemeanor or felony charges.
The new order was issued because cases continue to mount in the state.
Here’s an excerpt from Fox News reports:
The isolation order comes amid surging COVID-19 cases in Mississippi, as the 7-day average for new cases in the state reached 4,316 on Friday, nearly double the highest point during the second wave in January, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Friday’s order, issued by State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, says that anyone “infected with COVID-19 must remain in the home or other appropriate residential location for 10 days from onset of illness.”
Failure to obey the isolation order could results in a fine of $500 or imprisonment for six months. However, since COVID-19 is a life-threatening disease, those potential punishments go up to $5,000 or five years in prison or both, Dr. Dobbs wrote Friday.
Gov. Tate Reeves’ ongoing coronavirus executive order, set to expire Sept. 20 if not extended, also says State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs is “authorized and empowered to issue such orders as necessary to carry out, implement, and enforce any quarantine or isolation orders to contain and restrict the transmission of COVID-19.”
Full text of MS health dept. COVID isolation order:
“Pursuant to Mississippi Code Ann. §§ 41-3-51, 41-3-15 et. seq., 41-23-1 et. seq. and the State of Emergency Declaration by the Governor of the State of Mississippi related to the coronavirus COVID-19 issued on March 14, 2020, I, Thomas Dobbs, MD, MPH, State Health Officer, Executive Director of the Mississippi State Department of Health, hereby issue this statewide Order for the Isolation of Individuals Diagnosed with COVID-19.
All persons residing in Mississippi must immediately home-isolate on first knowledge of infection with COVID-19.
All persons, including fully vaccinated individuals, infected with COVID-19 must remain in the home or other appropriate residential location for 10 days from onset of illness (or 10 days from the date of a positive test for those who are asymptomatic). A negative test for COVID-19 is not required to end isolation at the end of 10 days, but you must be fever free for at least 24 hours with improvement of other symptoms.
Mississippi K-12 schools are required to exclude all students and faculty diagnosed with COVID-19 from the school setting during the isolation period (as above).
The failure or refusal to obey the lawful order of a health officer is, at a minimum, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $500.00 (41-3-59) or imprisonment for six months or both. If a life-threatening disease is involved, failure or refusal to obey the lawful order of a health officer is a felony, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.00 or imprisonment for up to five years or both (41-23-2).
Persons infected with COVID-19 should limit exposure to household contacts. No visitors should be allowed in the home. Please stay in a specific room away from others in your home. Use a separate bathroom if available. If you need to be around others in your home, you should wear a face mask.
Please see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-whensick.html for guidance on preventing transmission in the home.
Effective this 20th day of August 2021.”