The words COVID, quarantine and social distancing have become a regular part of our lives recently. Most of us have taken the necessary steps to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. However, there are a few people in the world who don’t fully understand the seriousness of the situation and continue to go about their normal routine and interact with others, even when they know they’re COVID positive.
A perfect example of people deciding to continue with their plans to live a normal life despite a positive COVID test is a couple who decided that they would travel from San Francisco to Kaua’i. No one is happy about the couple’s choice.
While it’s unclear if the couple had exhibited any symptoms before boarding their American Airlines flight, they were aware that they’d tested positive. Their condition had been caught during the pre-travel screenings which includes a COVID test. Not only did the couple know about the positive test results, but they’d also been clearly instructed to self-quarantine until they tested negative.
The couple likely thought they wouldn’t get caught or if they did that, there wouldn’t be any consequences. They were wrong. Not only has the couple been ordered into isolation, but second-degree reckless endangerment charges have also been filed against them. If the couple is found guilty, they could face a $2,000 fine and a year of jail time. They have been released from jail on bail.
The couple aren’t the only ones who have to live with the consequences of their bad choices. The biggest worry everyone currently has is how many people the couple interacted with and potentially exposed to this virus. Efforts are currently underway to conduct a full-contact tracing investigation and to alert everyone who was even potentially exposed to the couple that they will now have to quarantine themselves. Because the couple made a poor decision, lawmakers have decided that anyone who is coming into Kaua’i must spend 14-days in self-quarantine, regardless of whether they’ve tested positive for COVID.
So far, not much has been said about the potential consequences of failing to self-isolate after a positive COVID-19 test, but if 2020 has proven anything, it’s that things can change in the blink of an eye. It’s reasonable to assume that if COVID cases continue to increase and the hospitals are unable to keep up with medical needs, states, including California, will start enforcing self-quarantining guidelines. This is something we’re starting to see in the United Kingdom, where stories of people who fail to follow COVID-related laws are getting charged up to $10,000 in fines.
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and are thinking about running to the store or going into work for a few hours, there’s something else you should consider. If you knowingly expose someone to COVID-19, there is a chance that they can turn around and name you in a civil lawsuit.
All things considered, it’s in your best interest to stay home after you learn you’ve tested positive for COVID-19. It’s possible that it won’t be long before we start hearing reports of charges getting filed against individuals who decide to go to work, grocery shopping or even take a walk.