Mississippi warns up to 5 years in jail for those who refuse to isolate

LELAND, MISSISSIPPI – APRIL 29: Medical workers with Delta Health Center prepare to vaccinate people at a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic in a rural Delta community on April 29, 2021 in Leland, Mississippi. An estimated 23 percent of Mississippians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the Mississippi State Department of Health has reported a total of 334 new cases with the numbers currently trending up. Mississippi, a southern state with pockets of entrenched poverty, has struggled to vaccinate residents in remote areas who may not have access to the internet or transportation. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

MISSISSIPPI (NewsNation Now)— Those who violate a COVID-19 quarantine could face five years in jail or a $5,000 fine as the state attempts to contain a delta variant-fueled COVID-19 spike.

The Mississippi State Health Department order requires anyone with a positive test must remain in residential isolation until their symptoms have cleared and they show no signs of fever.

“If a life-threatening disease is involved, failure or refusal to obey the lawful order of a health officer is a felony, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.00 or imprisonment for up to five years or both (41-23-2),” the order reads.

A negative test result is not required to end isolation, but individuals must be fever-free for 24 hours and display improved symptoms.

Mississippi schools are required by this new order to exclude all faculty and students until isolation ends.

A copy of the order can be viewed here.

This order applied to fully vaccinated individuals as well as the unvaccinated.

The Mississippi State Health Department passed a similar measure in August 2020, with even longer recommendations for at-home isolation. The previous order stipulated that anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 must immediately isolate at home for 14 days.

Friday, a single-day record of 5,048 new COVID-19 cases was reported in Mississippi according to the state’s department of health. The rise in cases is fueled by the delta variant, which has heavily impacted both the vaccinated and unvaccinated in the state and around the country.

NewsNation affiliate WREG contributed to this report


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