Infected Woman Arrested For Repeatedly Going Out During Court-Ordered Quarantine
Louisville, KY – A Kentucky woman diagnosed with COVID-19 was arrested after she repeatedly ignored a court order to self-quarantine, according to police.
Kendra Burnett, 37, had been ordered to remain at home after she recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus, KXTV reported.
At approximately 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Louisville police received a report that Burnett had violated the court’s order and that she was at the Kroger store on South Second Street, according to the Courier Journal.
Police responded to the store and made contact with a woman outside the building who identified herself as Burnett’s mother, KXTV reported.
She pointed officers in her daughter’s direction as she walked out of the building.
The department contacted the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office about the situation, and were told that this was the third known incident where Burnett was caught violating the court’s order to self-quarantine, KXTV reported.
Burnett came into contact with five customers while she was inside the store – all of which was captured by security footage, KXTV reported.
There were approximately 200 people shopping at the Kroger at the time of the incident, KXTV reported.
After being placed under arrest, Burnett kicked out the taillight of a patrol vehicle and also damaged the inside door handle of the cruiser, police said.
She was booked into Louisville Metro Corrections on charges of criminal mischief, contempt of a court libel/slander resistance to order, and five counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, WDRB reported.
Burnett is a former employee at Treyton Oak Towers, which is a senior living community located in downtown Louisville, the Courier Journal reported.
Fifteen employees and 35 residents at the senior living community had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, and 13 residents have died.
On April 3, Burnett refused to sign an agreement that she would quarantine herself at home and ignored repeated emails and phone calls about the issue, the Courier Journal reported.
She was dismissed from her job on April 6 for an unknown reason.
Two days later, police went to Burnett’s home, but she refused to answer the door, the Courier Journal reported.
The health department ultimately obtained an order from Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Charlie Cunningham requiring Burnett to wear an ankle monitor and to remain inside her home for 14 days or for three days after her symptoms had passed.
"Despite a court order to self-quarantine and being fitted with an ankle bracelet, a COVID-19 infected individual left quarantine on Monday morning," Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness spokesman Dave Langdon told The Courier Journal. "Louisville Metro Department of Corrections received an alert that the individual had left her quarantine area, and then notified MetroSafe, which dispatched LMPD to the scene pinpointed by the alert."
Langdon noted that “according to CDC protocols, close contact with a COVID-19 infected person is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected individual for fifteen minutes or longer.”
"Based on these protocols, it is unlikely that customers who were in the store at the time are at risk due to this exposure,” he added, according to the Courier Journal.
Kroger spokesperson Erin Grant said the incident was “unfortunate” and that customer and employee safety “is always our top priority.”
Grant noted that the business has deep-cleaned all areas and surfaces where Burnett might have spread the virus, the Courier Journal reported.
“We currently have a standard practice of doing this type of cleaning multiple times per day in every store,” she said.
Burnett was released to home incarceration after posting $5,000 bond on Tuesday, according to the Courier Journal.
She is due back in court on June 3.