Fines, Prison Time Now Possible for Refusing to Isolate


STATE WIDE–You could now face a fine of up to $500 or six months in prison if you test positive for COVID-19 and do not isolate in your house for 10 days. State health officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs made that possible with a mandate Friday.

If you get a positive test, even if you are asymptomatic, you must isolate. A negative test is not required to end the quarantine. But, if you still have a fever, you’re required to stay home until 24 hours have passed without a fever.

Schools are also required to exclude people who have had a positive test from all school activities for the same period of time.

Friday over 5,000 people were reported with positive cases and 54 more people had died from the virus, including one person in Attala County and one person in Newton County.

State epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers, at Friday’s briefing with the state Medical Association, said Mississippi’s infection rate continues to be the highest in the south and one of the highest in the country.

“Louisiana… They’ve had 36,000 cases in the last seven days with the rate of 791 cases per 100,000. When you look at Alabama… 21,000 cases in the last seven days. Their rate is 439 per 100,000 in the last seven days. Arkansas … 528 per 100,000 in the last seven days. Mississippi… 25,000 cases in the last seven days, but our rate is 843 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days,” said Byers.

He called those numbers “staggering”.