After Family Breaks Quarantine, Anger and Cleaning Follow

Two in self-isolation leave house for father-daughter dance
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2020 4:20 PM CDT
After Family Breaks Quarantine, Anger and Cleaning Follow
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson speaks during a news conference in St. Louis on Saturday about the case of a St. Louis County woman who has tested positive for the new coronavirus.   (Colleen Schrappen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

A high school called off classes after members of a St. Louis family broke their self-quarantine over the weekend, attending a school dance, going to a coffee shop, and visiting another family's house. One member of the family, a college student in her 20s who had been in Italy, called the local coronavirus hotline on Thursday, reporting symptoms, ABC reports. After testing positive, she was instructed to stay home, along with the rest of her family. "She is to be commended for complying with the health department's instructions," the St. Louis County executive said Monday. But her father went to a coffee shop Saturday and took his younger daughter to a dance at a Ritz-Carlton that night. The high school later canceled classes for this week; school will resume March 23, after spring break. The two also attended a gathering at another family's house before the dance. Students from another high school were there, and they've been asked to stay away from their school for now.

The father and daughter left anger and scrubbing behind them. A county resident whose wife was quarantined for 14 days after being in China described himself as furious, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "How selfish can you be to just blow off the quarantine order and, of all things, go to a father-daughter dance exposing countless people to this deadly virus?" Officials expressed frustration. The county executive said the family was told repeatedly to quarantine. Breaking a quarantine is a class A misdemeanor under Missouri law. The owner of the coffee shop the father went to said the family called Sunday to report the visit, and the owner then called the health department. Employees went to work on the place. "Disinfectant and bleach, a thorough cleaning," the owner said. "There is no cleaner surface right now than at Deer Creek Coffee. I can promise you that." (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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