Nelson County, KY — A family has been forcibly quarantined in their home this week with police officers keeping them under 24-hour surveillance because a man in the home is accused of having the COVID-19 virus.
According to multiple news reports and even Kentucky governor Andy Beshear, this man fled the hospital after being diagnosed with the disease and refused to self-quarantine, forcing police to be dispatched to his home.
"It's a step I hoped that I'd never have to take," Beshear said in a conference on Saturday. "But I can't allow one person who we know has this virus to refuse to protect their neighbors."
Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts echoed the governor's sentiment when he told CNN affiliate WDRB the measure was necessary to keep the community safe.
"This is about us, not about 'I,'" Watts said. "So quarantine is a must. If we have to, we'll do it by force."
However, according to the family who is currently looking out of their front window at a police officer who is making sure they stay inside, the man was never diagnosed with COVID-19. According to the family, he has COPD, and checked out of the hospital freely, not against anyone's advice.
The couple does not wish to put their names out there as they have already received countless death threats after media ran the story, so the only newspaper who actually got their side of the story, has referred to them as Jane and John.
Thanks to the Kentucky Standard, this family is able to tell their story and not look like some crazed mass murderers wishing to infect people with the COVID-19 virus, like the rest of the media and the government painted them out to be.
This case appears to have begun because John suffers from COPD and began struggling on March 4. According to the Standard:
Jane said they called his pulmonologist when he started having difficulty, and the doctor prescribed him a steroid and antibiotics after his blood oxygen levels dropped. He had suffered a bout of acute hypoxia lung failure in November, but had been in good health and off his oxygen until then.
By Sunday, March 8, his oxygen levels had dropped to dangerous levels and on Monday his pulmonologist recommended he check himself into the emergency department of University of Louisville Hospital and arranged for his admittance.
When they arrived at the ER in Louisville on Monday his blood oxygen level had dropped to 83. He had gone into acute hypoxia and was admitted to intensive care.
While in the ICU he was tested at least twice for influenza and had two chest x-rays and had blood cultures run, Jane said.
“Everything came back normal,” Jane said. “I know this because I asked the nurse.”
According to Jane, John remained in ICU until 4 p.m. last Thursday before his conditioned improved and he was transferred to an in-patient room. Showing just how unconcerned the hospital was with John's potential for having COVID-19, he was placed in a room with another patient — not isolated.
Once John felt 100% better, the couple decided to check out of the hospital and go home. Jane explained that at no point during their stay at the hospital was John ever under quarantine.
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“If there was any positive results, they would not have let us leave,” Jane said.
After they left the hospital, the next day, the Lincoln Trail District Health Department contacted John by phone and told him he tested positive for COVID-19. Having never been tested at the hospital for COVID-19, John and Jane told the health department that they must be mistaken.
“We told them we know it isn’t true,” she said. “He never even ran a fever at the hospital.”
As the Standard notes, Jane said she has access to John’s medical records online, and as of Saturday night there was nothing in his files that showed any tests for COVID-19. She said the family had obtained legal counsel, and their lawyers also told the couple there was no positive test results in John’s medical files.
“There is no record he was tested. None,” Jane said.
Despite having no record of a test, no symptoms of COVID-19, no quarantine in the hospital, and the fact that he was allowed to leave the hospital, the health department told Jane and John they were now under forced quarantine and if they leave their house before March 26, they would be arrested.
Jane remained steadfast in her insistence that John did not have COVID-19 and was never tested for it.
“We were not going to change our lifestyle, because we know it isn’t true,” she said.
The next day, they get a subpoena signed by Circuit Court Judge Jack Seay at 3:31 p.m. that restricted them from leaving their home until March 26. She said there are six adults in the home who remain under quarantine, according to the Standard.
The health department apparently informed the governor of the family's statement about not receiving the test. The governor responded by holding a press conference inciting hatred and death threats toward the family. They are now also under 24-hour police surveillance.
Because they were forcibly quarantined with six adults who do not normally live in the home, Jane and John were unable to get enough food and supplies to last through the two-week quarantine.
The good news is that after the Standard told their side of the story, they were inundated with calls from good Samaritans trying to help. Jane also said that the officers who've been assigned to watch them in their home "have been sweet as pumpkin pies,” she said. “All of them have been very kind. They have helped so much.”
As for John, as he and his family wait out the quarantine, Jane tells the standard he is just fine, no COPD problems either.
“Healthy as a horse,” she said. “He’s not even on his oxygen.”