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Tipsheet

An American Refuses to Sign Coronavirus Documents. Here's How the Local Health Department Responded.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Kentucky resident Elizabeth Linscott was planning to visit her mother in Michigan. Despite having no symptoms of the Wuhan coronavirus, Linscott decided to get tested out of an abundance of caution. Her results turned up positive and she was told to self-quarantine at home.

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“My grandparents wanted to see me, too,” Linscott told WILX-TV. “So, just to make sure if I tested negative, that they would be OK, that everything would be fine.”

Once the health department alerted her to her positive test results, they wanted Linscott to sign the Self-isolation and Controlled Movement Agreed Order, a document stating she would not leave her house without first asking the health district for permission. She refused to sign the documents.

"My part was if I have to go to the ER, if I have to go to the hospital, I’m not going to wait to get the approval to go,” she said, adding that she would take any necessary precautions to protect others. If she had to go to the hospital she would alert health care workers to her recent positive test results. 

"I agreed to comply to call the Health Department if I was to go. I was to call the Health Department if I was to leave my house for any reason," she told KABC-TV. "I had gotten a message from them, a text message that stated, because of your refusal to sign, this is going to be escalated, and law enforcement will be involved."

A few days later the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department arrived with contracts for Elizabeth, her husband Isaiah, and their daughter. Because they wouldn't sign the agreement, the adults were required to wear ankle monitoring bracelets. If they went more than 200 feet outside of their home, law enforcement would be notified.

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“We didn’t rob a store. We didn’t steal something. We didn’t hit and run. We didn’t do anything wrong,” Elizabeth Linscott said. 

Although she refused to sign the agreement, she said her and her husband never refused to self-quarantine. 

“That’s exactly what the director of the Public Health Department told the judge, that I was refusing to self-quarantine because of this, and that’s not the case at all,” she told WILX-TV. “I never said that.”

The couple say they are in the process of hiring an attorney.

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