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Can You Be Prosecuted for Violating a Quarantine?The Illinois Department of Public Health and local health boards have broad authority to order quarantines of people or locations in the interest of public safety. With the COVID-19 outbreak in Illinois, the IDPH may utilize this power to isolate or quarantine people who they reasonably suspect of carrying the virus. Many people will voluntarily comply with a request to quarantine themselves to help stop the spread of the virus. If you refuse to quarantine yourself, the IDPH can request a court order to quarantine you. If the order is granted, violating it would be a criminal offense.

Quarantine and Isolation

There are two orders that the IDPH can use to separate infected people from the public. A quarantine is used when people have potentially been exposed to a communicable disease and need to be separated until it is determined that they are not a risk to the public. Isolation is for people who are confirmed to have the disease or show symptoms of the disease.

The IDPH cannot enforce quarantine or isolation unless you consent or it receives a court order. For the court to approve a quarantine or isolation order, the IDPH must prove that:

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