Local government officials recently revealed that at least one person infected with the coronavirus initially refused to self quarantine.
“We contacted that individual and encouraged them to abide by the department of state health services guidelines,” said Kerrville Fire Chief Dannie Smith to council members during a Tuesday meeting.
Smith said that if the individual declined to self-quarantine further, a legal mechanism is in place for the state health department to enforce the quarantine. He said local officials would have to contact the agency to “really implement the teeth in the law.”
People infected must, by law, keep in touch with the state health department and self-quarantine for 14 days, said county emergency management coordinator William "Dub" Thomas. He wasn't sure exactly how the state health department would enforce quarantine, but he said there's no way an infected person would be housed in the local jail. The closed environment of a jail or prison is such that it's very easy for the coronavirus to spread there, the sheriff has said on many occasions.
"We're not going to put a COVID-19 positive person in the jail, period," Thomas said on Thursday.
Forty-eight infections were active as of Wednesday, according to a city of Kerrville press release posted to Facebook.
If additional infections have been identified since Wednesday, they will be revealed by Peterson Health around 4:30 p.m. today and subsequently reported by the city, county and The Times.