ABILENE, TX -- City officials confirmed Monday morning that a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 refused to self-quarantine, even after receiving their test results.
According to the city, the patient was a male in his 40's that had visited New York City with his wife. He had mild symptoms like a dry cough, but no fever. The couple refused to follow public health guidelines and continued to go about their daily lives.
"This kind of behavior is irresponsible. This kind of behavior makes people sick," said officials.
The city confirmed that the male positive case had been announced previously, so several days have passed since the results came back. They further advised the couple is currently being monitored 24/7 by authorities and the city is looking to have them outfitted with ankle monitors.
The city is taking the coronavirus outbreak seriously and has pledged to do everything in their power to contain the spread. The case count is currently up to 11 positive cases.
The two most current cases are a male in his 30s with a history of travel. He has been quarantined at home since the symptoms began. The second is a male in his 80s with a history of travel. He is currently hospitalized in stable condition.
In response to the increase in cases, they will be implementing a shelter-in-place beginning March 31 at noon and will last until April, 14 at 11:59 p.m.
According to the order, any person that is sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms is ordered to stay home until the following criteria are met:
- he or she has had no fever for at least 72 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers; and
- his or her other symptoms have improved (for example, when the cough or shortness of breath has improved); and
- at least 14 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared.
The city has also ordered the business that falls into the following categories to temporarily close their doors:
- Hair salons, hairstylists, barbershops, nail salons, tattoo parlors, piercing businesses, and all similar personal grooming related businesses that require close personal contact; and
- Food truck gatherings of two or more food trucks; and
- Game rooms, bowling alleys, movie theaters, arcades, miniature golf courses, gyms, fitness centers, or other similar entertainment venues; and
- Sexually Oriented Businesses
- Smoking rooms in tobacco stores (it is the intent to limit the closure only to the smoking rooms and not the sale of tobacco products).
Citizens who are found violating the order that restricts private and public gatherings may be punished with the fine of $1000 or confinement in jail for up to 180 days. The full order can be found at the following link.