Kentucky deputies enforce isolation of coronavirus patient who defied quarantine order

Armed Kentucky deputies were enforcing the isolation of a man with the coronavirus who defied a quarantine order.

"We're going to be out here 24/7 for two weeks," Nelson County Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa told the Kentucky Standard Saturday from outside the 53-year-old man’s home.

Pineiroa said the man "was cooperating now," according to the newspaper.

The paper reported the man was tested at a Louisville hospital and left against medical advice on Friday. He gave the hospital a Meade County address, but officials learned he resides in Nelson County.

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The man was one of 21 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in Kentucky. On Monday, the state confirmed its first coronavirus death, a man who lived in Bourbon County.

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Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts had to declare a state of emergency in order to invoke a little-known statute that allows him to enforce a “self-isolation or quarantine,” the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

“It’s a step I hoped I’d never have to take, but we can’t allow one person who we know has the virus to refuse to protect their neighbors,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Saturday at a news conference where he addressed the man's defiance of the quarantine order.

Beshear also revealed that he had been tested for the coronavirus himself after attending a public event in Louisville where another attendee later tested positive. He tested negative, according to the New York Post.

“This, right now, certainly is us against the coronavirus,” he told reporters Saturday.

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“And all we need from people — we’ve all gotta follow these guidelines,” he said. “We need everybody’s help to do it.