These are difficult times. We hope that the State Health Commissioner does not have to order that people be forced to quarantine because of the coronavirus outbreak in Virginia.
However, a violation of a forced quarantine can have serious consequences under Virginia Law. If the coronavirus outbreak worsens, a quarantine order issued by the Virginia State Health Commissioner to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Punishments for Violating a Quarantine Order
If a person willfully violates a quarantine order they can be found guilty of a Class One Misdemeanor.As a result a person can be punished by:
- A fine of up to $2500.00; and/or
- Be sentenced from 1 day to 12 months in jail.
If there is a only negligent violation of a quarantine order, a person or business can be punished by a civil fine of up to $25000.00. I
f you have any questions, contact the criminal defense lawyers at The Gordon Law Firm at 703.218.8416 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Gordon Law Firm hopes everyone stays healthy and follows the advice of their medical professionals. Please take appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus or COVID-19.
These laws were enacted and updated in 2004 before the coronavirus or COVID-19 existed.
Enforcement of Orders of Quarantine or Isolation Virginia Code Section 32.1-48.014
A. Any person who does not comply with a validly issued order of quarantine or order of isolation issued or prepared pursuant to this article shall be subject to the penalties provided in § 32.1-27, including, upon conviction, a Class 1 misdemeanor and payment of civil penalties.
B. Any order of quarantine or isolation shall be enforced by law-enforcement agencies, as directed by the State Health Commissioner. Any enforcement authority directed to law-enforcement agencies by the Commissioner shall expressly include, but need not be limited to, the power to detain or arrest any person or persons identified as in violation of any order of quarantine or isolation, or for whom probable cause exists that he may fail or refuse to comply with any such order.
Any person or persons so detained shall be held in the least restrictive environment that can provide any required health care or other services for such person.
C. Every attorney for the Commonwealth shall have the duty to prosecute, without delay, any violation of this chapter in accordance with the penalties set forth in § 32.1-27.
D. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 264 et seq. and 42 C.F.R. Parts 70 and 71, any order of quarantine or isolation issued by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention affecting the Commonwealth or the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority may be enforced by local law-enforcement officers or officers of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority with jurisdiction over the facility involved in the quarantine or isolation order.
Declaration of a Quarantine by the State Health Commissioner Virginia Code Section 32.1-48.08
A. The State Health Commissioner may declare a quarantine of any person or persons or any affected area after he finds that the quarantine is the necessary means to contain a communicable disease of public health threat as defined in § 32.1-48.06 to which such person or persons or the people of an affected area have been or may have been exposed and thus may become infected.
B. The State Health Commissioner shall record his findings and any information on which he has relied in making the finding required for quarantine pursuant to subsection A. The State Health Commissioner's record of findings concerning any communicable disease of public health threat shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed in accordance with subdivision 12 of § 2.2-3705.5.
C. The State Health Commissioner may order the quarantined person or persons to remain in their residences, to remain in another place where they are present, or to report to a place or places designated by the State Health Commissioner for the duration of their quarantine. An electronic device may be used to enforce any such quarantine. The Commissioner's order of quarantine shall be for a duration consistent with the known incubation period for such disease or, if the incubation period is unknown, for a period anticipated as being consistent with the incubation period for other similar infectious agents.