Quarantine is a topic that is everywhere right now as the coronavirus continues to spread across the world, and officials are urging people to stay in quarantine.
Just recently, a Missouri man broke self-quarantine to attend a father-daughter dance, and now the school is having to cancel classes. His quarantine was a result of his other daughter being diagnosed with the virus, and officials have threatened that if the man or his family break quarantine again, they could be forced to stay put by the force of the law.
Quarantine has been enforced by either the discretion of the person or by health officials who are officially ordering it. The goal of quarantine is to remove the sick person from others who are not sick so that the virus can be killed in their system.
Obviously, with how the coronavirus has spread so fast recently, quarantines are being ordered much more frequently. It is one thing for a person to quarantine themselves and that is up to their decision, but when the government orders it, that’s when things become more strict.
According to the CDC, the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution grants the federal government isolation and quarantine authority. The secretary of Health and Human Services can take actions to prevent the spread of communicable disease from foreign countries into the USA and between states.
Just recently, passengers aboard the cruise ship, Diamond Princess, were evacuated and sent to a military base for a 14-day quarantine.
These laws can vary state to state, but within each state, the power rests within state and health officials. In New York, mandatory or precautionary quarantines can be enforced. For mandatory, health officials must visit the home at least once a day and be in contact electronically once a day. For precautionary, it only has to be electronic every day.
For some states, breaking a federally-enforced quarantine can result in a fine or imprisonment, though federal quarantines are rarely used. Punishments will vary depending on the state as well, with Michigan residents facing a fine up to $200 and up to six months in jail.
Regardless of where you live and what the punishments are, we urge you to please follow protocol if ordered to quarantine yourself. We are all about not letting the panic stop you from living your life, but if the worst happens, please do as you are told to help stop the spread of the virus. The recovery rate for the virus is very high, but we still have be to smart and responsible about it.