Mississippi issues new health order, up to 5 years in jail for those who refuse to isolate

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Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, right, watches an unmasked Gov. Tate Reeves respond to a reporter’s question during a news briefing regarding Mississippi’s COVID-19 response in Jackson, Miss., Aug. 13, 2021. Reeves did not wear a face mask during the 90-minute briefing. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The state of Mississippi issued new Coronavirus guidelines regarding at-home isolation on Friday.

These orders require anyone with a positive test must remain in residential isolation until their symptoms have cleared and they show no signs of fever.

A copy of the order can be viewed here.

The order states, “All persons residing in Mississippi must immediately home-isolate on first knowledge of infection with COVID-19.”

This order applied to fully vaccinated individuals as well as the unvaccinated.

The Mississippi Department of Health reiterated the statute and the seriousness of their isolation order.

The order says, “If a life-threatening disease is involved, failure or refusal to obey the lawful order of a health officer is a felony, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.00 or imprisonment for up to five years or both (41-23-2).”

The letter, issued Friday, stated that a negative test result is not required to end isolation, but individuals must be fever-free for 24 hours and display improved symptoms. Mississippi schools are required by this new order to exclude all faculty and students until isolation ends.

The Mississippi State Health Department passed a similar measure in August 2020, with even longer recommendations for at-home isolation. The previous order stipulated that anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 must immediately isolate at home for 14 days.

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