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Kanawha judge issues order for ankle monitors for violators of COVID-19 quarantine

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Another step has been taken in Kanawha County in enforcing orders in place due to COVID-19.

On Monday afternoon, Kanawha County Circuit Court Chief Judge Charles King entered an order allowing the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, with the directive of Chief Health Officer Dr. Sherri Young of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, to issue GPS ankle monitoring bracelets to those who refuse to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.

“Chief Judge King and Sheriff (Mike) Rutherford have taken note that this is a serious issue,” stated Commission President Kent Carper in a release.

“The public must realize that if you have COVID-19, you need to quarantine per the direction of the Chief Health Officer. We do not want to use the GPS ankle bracelets to enforce the quarantines, however, if we must we will. This must be taken seriously.”

The release from the commission and City of Charleston further stated that Young currently has the authority to issue a quarantine order for those who refuse to quarantine.

Kentucky recently issued an order for GPS ankle bracelets to be utilized as a last resort enforcement for those who refuse to be quarantined.

“We must do all that we can to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin in the release. “We have an obligation to keep the people of Charleston and Kanawha County safe by any means necessary. This method would only be used in cases where folks that test positive are non-compliant. We must proactively have these measures in place in case we have individuals that will not quarantine.”

On Saturday, Kanawha County was added to an executive order by Gov. Jim Justice pressing for more social distancing.

The order put forth included the number of people in groups to five while socially distancing and directs all essential businesses to limit the number of persons entering their establishments and requires employees to work from home to the maximum extent possible.

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