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Violating a coronavirus isolation order could come with a hefty fine or jail time

Posted at 11:34 PM, May 18, 2020

The Milwaukee Police Department needed to make contact with two local residents who were violating isolation orders after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

“Twice in the last couple of days, Milwaukee Police have had to issue a quarantine order for individuals that tested positive but refused to stay at home” Mayor Tom Barrett said Monday.

The mayor didn’t have many details on the the case but said the health department was contacted followed by police officers.

“One of the cases involved a family member that said look this person tested positive and is going back to work,” said Barrett.

Local Health Officials are able to impose and enforce isolation orders, according to Wisconsin state law. Statute 252.19 says "No person who is knowingly infected with a communicable disease may willfully violate the recommendations of the local health officer or subject others to danger of contracting the disease."

Ann Christiansen of the North Shore Health Department says “it really is about helping people know when it is safe to go out and about in the community again, so that they’re not exposing both their loved ones, neighbors, and others.”

Violating the orders can be punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Christiansen also said that stricter enforcement measures can be taken. “The extreme measure which we haven’t had to do but is available, is to put a quarantine guard at the person’s home to make sure they stay in place.”

The two cases mentioned by the Mayor in Milwaukee seem to be the only local cases so far. Representatives from Racine, Ozaukee-Washington, and Waukesha Counties were unaware of similar cases.

Kenosha County said that the Kenosha County Division of Health, with the assistance of the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department, issued six isolation orders.

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