Florida couple arrested after breaking ordered quarantine

by Joel Abbott · Jul 31st, 2020 1:18 pm

Last Updated Aug 2nd, 2020 at 8:42 am

A Key West couple has been arrested after breaking a mandatory quarantine order by Florida's state health department.

After testing positive for COVID-19, Jose Antonio Freire Interian, 24, and Yohana Anahi Gonzalez, 26, were told to quarantine for 14 days. Neighbors complained, however, that the couple was not voluntarily isolating. Interian had been seen washing his car, walking his dog, and shopping for groceries, and both had been seen leaving without masks.

On July 21, the state health department issued a formal isolation order, set to expire July 31, that instructed them to stay home and wear masks around others.

"Because you have failed to voluntarily remain in your residence, this order is necessary to protect the public health," the department's statement read.

Despite this, residents reported the couple was continuing to ignore the order.

"There were complaints from the neighborhood of them continuing to be outside, going about normal life functions," said Greg Veliz, Key West's city manager.

On Wednesday, the couple's apartment complex manager reported them to Key West police, submitting surveillance footage that showed them leaving and returning home without face masks. The police showed the footage to a judge, who signed an order for the couple's arrest.

On Wednesday night, police took Interian and Gonzalez to the the Stock Island Detention Center and charged them with violating a state law that requires isolation or quarantine in a public health emergency and violating emergency management. Both offenses are punishable by up to 60 days in jail.

After spending the night isolated in a "negative pressure" cell with its own contained air system, the couple was released Thursday morning on $1,000 bail.


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