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Judges force 3 citizens to wear GPS tracking devices while on house arrest over coronavirus

Person made to wear a government ankle monitor. (C.M. Guerrero/Miami Herald/TNS)
April 03, 2020

Kentucky circuit court judges ordered three Louisiana residents to wear tracking devices and remain in their homes after they allegedly ignored social distancing guidance.

Two of the three residents tested positive for coronavirus, and the third resident is a family member. The three had been in public despite doctors telling them to avoid it, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal on Tuesday.

Judge Charles Cunningham signed off on two of the “health-related civil orders” on Friday, remarking that such an order is unprecedented for the courts. Cunningham’s order was against one coronavirus patient and a family member living together.

His order came after the local health department requested it on the grounds that both individuals were “walking around” in public days after the diagnosis, he said.

The orders require the individuals to stay in their homes until at least April 6 while wearing GPS devices that are monitored by the county sheriff’s department, WDRB reported. Both individuals could be charged if found to be violating the order.

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Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Angela McCormick Bisig issued the house arrest order until April 4 for the third individual last week after learning they went shopping in public after testing positive for coronavirus.

The city analyzed retail store receipts to confirm that the individual had shopped at the store.

Amy Hess, Louisville’s chief of public services, defended the house arrest order.

“The home incarceration program is well-suited for this,” she said. “It provides us with the proper amount of distancing. We can monitor activity after (the monitoring device) gets affixed to them … to make sure they’re not further affecting the community.