JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi residents can now face jail time or fines if they refuse to self-isolate after receiving a positive COVID-19 test, according to a new emergency state health order.
In the order, Mississippi State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs said people have to isolate themselves at home for 10 days once they become aware that they are infected, regardless of their vaccination status.
“A negative test for COVID-19 is not required to end isolation at the end of 10 days, but you must be fever free for at least 24 hours with improvement of other symptoms,” the order said.
The order stated that refusal to obey could result in a $500 fine, up to six months in jail or both. However, when a life-threatening disease is involved, the refusal to obey the order could include up to $5,000 in fines, five years of jail time or both, according to the state health order.
Mississippi has recently started to experience its third, and largest, wave of COVID-19 cases. The state saw 5,048 new cases on Thursday, the most since the start of the pandemic, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.