COVID-19 positive citizens subject to arrest if caught not quarantining in Texas county

BROOKS COUNTY, Texas — A small Texas county will start arresting people that aren’t self-quarantining who have tested positive for coronavirus.

The county attorney in Brooks County, which is just 80 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, decided to adopt the policy after community members complained that people who had tested positive the virus were spotted at grocery stores and businesses, according to KIII-TV.

“If you’re going to go out and endanger other people, and we find out about it, we will prosecute you. People have not really embraced the dangers of COVID-19. It’s dangerous. It’s killing people, and it’s making people very sick. So either do it because you’re concerned about others or do it because you’re going to be punished if you don’t,” Brooks County attorney David Garcia told KIII-TV.

Garcia said that it falls under Texas Penal Code 22.05:

Sec. 22.05. DEADLY CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he recklessly engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.

—  TEXAS PENAL CODE - TITLE 5. OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON - CHAPTER 22. ASSAULTIVE OFFENSES

A person who is positive for COVID-19 does not need to infect another person to be arrested. Exposure is considered enough to be in violation, according to KSAT.

There have been 10 cases in Brooks County as of Monday.

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