NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The state Department of Health is going after two New Mexico COVID-19 patients who they say refused to self-isolate.
The New Mexico Department of Health tells the Santa Fe New Mexican that court orders were served this month to two patients. It’s unclear when or where the patients tested positive due to patient privacy.
It’s unclear what actions lead to the Department of Health’s actions to obtain the court orders. The court records in the cases have been sealed.
Department of Health spokesman David Morgan told the New Mexican that the department will not disclose additional information but that individuals in all isolation and quantine cases in New Mexico district courts are sequestered proceedings and that all materials are closed from public inspection.
While COVID-19 patients are usually isolated at a health facility they can also remain isolated at their homes. The Department of Health announced that it would seek public health orders in order to make those who test positive for coronavirus remain isolated or quarantined if they refuse to do so.
According to a webinar hosted by the Second Judicial District in Albuquerque that took place earlier in April, orders are valid for 30 days. The New Mexican reports however, that the department can seek multiple orders against the same individual.
Department spokesman Morgan says anyone refusing the order could be fined up to $5,000 or could face jail time.
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