The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
A fourth Jefferson County resident has been ordered by a judge to stay in his home after refusing to comply with the health department's instruction.
The individual is in a household with one confirmed COVID-19 case and another presumptive positive case, which the court order says is "sufficient to have transmitted this disease" to him.
But the person refused to sign an agreed order to quarantine and has not responded to subsequent attempts to contact him by the health department. And, the order says, his sister reported to the health department that the individual "leaves the home often." …
In this case, the individual has not yet tested positive, according to the order, but there is reason to believe that there was exposure from others in the household.
Note that, whatever the controversy may be over general lockdowns applicable to everyone—I think they are constitutional, but I can see the objections they raise—here there seems to be a substantial probability (though not certainty) that the target is indeed infected, and thus likely to risk infecting others. This is thus a classic justifiable and constitutionally permissible quarantine, it seems to me. (Note also that COVID19 tests appear to have a high false negative rate, so the apparent negative test result doesn't seem dispositive.)