A county health department in Michigan is threatening to throw parents in jail if their child was believed to have been exposed to Covid-19.
In a letter to parents, the Allegan County Health Director tells parents they’re “required to cooperate” with the agency, or be taken to court following allegations they exposed their child to Covid-19.
“The Allegan County Health Department has become aware that your son/daughter is a close contact to a COVID-19 positive individual and has determined that he/she is a ‘carrier’ as defined by Michigan Law,” the letter publicized by State Rep. Steve Johnson (R) stated.
“You are hereby notified that you are required to cooperate with the Allegan County Health Department in efforts to prevent or control the transmission of this serious disease or infection.”
The letter continues: “If you fail to take the actions prescribed in this warning notice, the Allegan County Health Deaprtment shall petition the circuit court to seek an order to compel your compliance, which may result in you being taken into protective custody to protect the public’s health.”
Responding to the “reckless and tyrannical” order, Rep. Johnson called on Allegan County to fire its health director.
“Allegan’s County Commission needs to step up and fire this reckless and tyrannical health director for threatening to take away people’s kids for possibly coming in close contact with someone who had COVID,” Johnson wrote on Facebook. “This absolutely should not be happening in Allegan County.”
Responding to allegations that the county is attempting to take children away from parents, a county spokesperson claimed the letter is merely intended to inform parents they’re required to quarantine if infected.
We’ve received inquiries about our Quarantine Letter, with claims that ACHD is trying to take children away from their parents. These quarantine letters have been issued to individuals identified as close contacts since the start of the pandemic to ensure individuals are aware that they are required to quarantine. Many people need this quarantine documentation for work or school. Our letter also includes education for what to look for as far as symptoms, ensuring basic needs are being met and who to call based on what an individual or family needs. These quarantine letters are part of the standard procedure for stopping the spread of any infectious disease.
In 2020-2021 school year, there were 3,671 school age children that were quarantined for a known COVID-19 exposure and were sent a quarantine letter. 0 individuals have been petitioned and 0 individuals were taken into custody. Our intent for isolation and quarantine letters is to mitigate transmission of COVID-19.
Isolation and Quarantine are both proven mitigation strategies used to mitigate transmission of COVID-19.
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