A woman on Florida’s Treasure Coast was arrested for violating a order to stay quarantined and isolated at home amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the state.
Stuart Police arrested 38-year-old Melissa Barton on Wednesday after she was walking in the downtown area of the city while being active on social media about having taken a test for the virus a week and a half before.
Barton allegedly approached officers before her arrest and said she believed her test would come back positive.
“A couple of my detectives got some phone calls from the downtown business people who I guess identified this woman from Facebook. The initial call was the concern she could be COVID positive,” Police Chief Joseph Tumminelli told NBC affiliate WPTV-TV.
Officers arrested Barton for violating an order signed by Governor Ron DeSantis which says anyone must remain quarantined for 14 days who meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definition of a person under investigation.
Tumminelli said officers are not instructed to make arrests, only doing so in an extreme circumstance.
“The intent is not to arrest,” Tumminelli said. “But if my officers do come across someone, a group of ten or more, they’re going to tell them hey, practice social distancing. If I can get somebody to go home who needs to go home, they’ll go home.”
Barton was released from jail after being fitted for an ankle monitor and will remain confined to her home until she receives a negative result.