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Deputies monitoring home of COVID-19 patient who ‘refused’ to self-isolate

Though the Ky. man is now cooperating, deputies will be stationed at his home 24/7 for the foreseeable future


By Amanda Lien

BARDSTOWN, Ky. — Governor Andy Beshear has ordered Nelson County deputies to “force the self-isolation” of a man who was diagnosed with COVID-19 but refused to quarantine himself.

Nelson County Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa told WDRB the 53-year-old man is now cooperating, but deputies will remain stationed outside his home around the clock “for the foreseeable future.”

“It’s a step I hoped that I never had to take, but we can’t allow one person — who we know has this virus — to refuse to protect their neighbors,” Beshear said during a Saturday news conference.

After learning about the man’s refusal to self-quarantine late last week, Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts declared a state of emergency in order to invoke a little-known statute that allows him to force a “self-isolation or quarantine.” Beshear said during a press conference that the measure is being used to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“We’ve got to make sure that people who have tested positive, that we know could be spreading the virus, and simply refuse to do the right thing, do the right thing,” Beshear said, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. “Be a good neighbor. … That’s all we’re asking of people.”

Watts told WDRB he’s expecting more cases in the area to come from this patient as a direct result of his refusal to self-isolate.

“This is about us. It’s not about I,” Watts said. “We are a community, and you need to keep your community safe. You need to keep your family safe, so quarantine is a must, and if we have to, we’ll do it by force.”

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