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Fri, July 10

Mohave County puts 3 in forced quarantine

Mohave County Public Health Director Denise Burley, shown in 2018, said Thursday that the county has forced three persons into quarantine after they refused to self-isolate after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. (Miner file photo)

Mohave County Public Health Director Denise Burley, shown in 2018, said Thursday that the county has forced three persons into quarantine after they refused to self-isolate after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. (Miner file photo)

KINGMAN – The pandemic emergency gave Mohave County Public Health Director Denise Burley the power to enforce the quarantine of individuals infected with COVID-19, who refuse to self-isolate.

There are three such cases within the county, Burley confirmed at an April 30 press conference held with the local hospitals’ leadership.

“The order of isolation is good for 10 days,” Burley said. “And if we would like to extend it, we would have to present the case in front of the judge.”

She confirmed that there are three cases in the county where individuals declared they will not follow the guidelines and the county enforced it upon them.

“We prefer voluntary compliance,” Burley said. “But we have other options.”

Currently, the county has a team of 10 employees who work on contact tracing, Burley said, sharing a bit about the contact tracing process.

A contact that would be asked to self-isolate typically would have spent more than 10 minutes in close proximity to a current positive case in a relatively closed space, Burley explained.

She stated earlier that day at the county board of supervisors’ meeting that the county is adding more manpower to the current Public Health staff, just got more epidemiological help, and will receive more assistance in contact tracing.

Responding to a lot of inquiries, as of April 30 the county’s webpage further breaks down “service areas” to specify that, for example, the Kingman service area includes: Kingman, Hackberry, New-Kingman, Butler, Peach Springs, Chloride, Dolan Springs, Valentine, Golden Valley, Meadview, Hualapai Tribe, Wikieup, Oatman, Yucca, Valle Vista and White Hills.

The county will also be adjusting group categories for case tracking, Burley said, breaking down the 65 and older age group and providing more details on the webpage.

Burley said the county epidemiologist confirmed that 30-40% percent of local cases recovered, but health officials are careful and slow when defining and reporting a recovery.

Unfortunately, the vendor the county was using to purchase 500,000 face masks for local hospitals and the county was not able to deliver, Burley said.

“The company cannot find them,” Burley said, adding that the masks were not paid for so money is not lost.

She added the market for PPE is difficult, with local, state and federal governments competing for the same resources, but Public Health will continue attempts to obtain more resources.

Burley finalized her report by noting the number of COVID-19 cases in the neighboring communities of Needles, California (0 cases) and Laughlin, Nevada (less than five cases).

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