What legal consequences could you face if you're COVID-19 positive? Attorney weighs in

Posted at 3:39 PM, Jan 25, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- If you test positive for COVID-19 and were ordered to quarantine, then you’re expected to obey state guidelines.

As Virginia Beach-based attorney Tim Anderson said, if you violate these orders, “You could face criminal consequences or civil fines or civil penalties for violating the emergency order."

Violating quarantine orders is a class one misdemeanor. Those penalties include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. There is also the question of lawsuits.

If you break quarantine, go out in public and someone said you gave them the virus, what could happen?

As Anderson explained, "Because COVID is so contagious and there are so many ways to get it, the cause-action of you having transmitted the virus to me is almost impossible to prove."

They can try to prove you had COVID-19 and came into contact with them, but it is tough to prove.

"It's not like a car accident where you run into the back of me and I can say, 'Yeah, clearly you hit me with the car,” Anderson said. “This is something we'd have to exclude the other possibilities, and that's very difficult to prove."

For a case to be successful, Anderson gave an example of this scenario:

"The case would have to be so narrow that they went to the grocery store, they had no contact with anybody other than the infected person,” Anderson explained, “and then came straight home and has had no contact with anybody ever since and, obviously, that would be an impossible factual scenario."

Anderson added it is also why we are not hearing these kinds of cases and that these cases would get dismissed quickly after getting filed.

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