- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Officials in Brooks County, Texas, have threatened to arrest any COVID-19 positive patients who refuse to self-quarantine.

“If you’re going to go out and endanger other people, and we find out about it, we will prosecute you,” Brooks County attorney David Garcia told a local ABC affiliate.

“People have not really embraced the dangers of COVID-19,” he said. “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.”

The county released a statement on the Fourth of July stating, “any person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and has not been released by the Texas Department of State Health Services must isolate themselves from other people until they receive a release.”

The county’s announcement cited a subsection of Texas Penal Code 22.05, which states, “A person commits an offense if he recklessly engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.”

“Please note that the victim does not have to get COVID-19 but just be exposed to it without previous warning,” the statement continued. “Appearing in public after testing ‘Positive’ EXCEPT to get medical care pursuant to CDC guidelines, can lead to your arrest.”

At the time of the announcement Saturday, according to the county’s own numbers, there were nine confirmed COVID-19 cases — four of whom had already recovered and been released.

Mr. Garcia said the announcement came after residents notified his office of seeing some of those people at grocery stores and businesses.

“This is the only way we can prevent this disease is on an individual basis,” he told the ABC affiliate. “We need to be responsible for our actions, and if we’re not going to be responsible for our actions because we’re trying to protect other people, well there’s a punishment for it, too.”

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