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No, Washington won't forcibly quarantine those who have COVID-19 or are unvaccinated

The state board of health has received thousands of emails about an agenda item that will be discussed at a meeting this week.

WASHINGTON, USA — Claims are going around that Washington politicians are trying to create laws that would allow them to force unvaccinated people into quarantine.

This comes as Washington State's Board of Health is set to decide on changes to certain quarantine rules.

The state board of health has received thousands of emails about an agenda item to be discussed at a meeting this week. So we set out to verify if claims that the state is considering forcing some to quarantine are true.

THE QUESTION

Does this proposal allow health officials to use law enforcement to force an emergency order to involuntarily detain a person or group in a facility if the person/group refuses to comply with requests for medical treatment, testing, treatment, counseling or vaccination?

THE SOURCES

  • Washington State Board of Health Chair Keith Grellner 
  • House Bill 1551, which deals with quarantining

THE ANSWER

No, the state isn't trying to forcibly quarantine those who have COVID or are unvaccinated.

This is false.

WHAT WE FOUND

According to Grellner, these claims are far from the truth. 

"Just to be really clear, our board meeting on Wednesday is is there are no conversations about isolation and quarantine camps," Grellner said. "There are no rules existing or in the making to create isolation and quarantine camps."

The Board of Health is looking at making changes to a current part of the Washington Administrative Code to make it more in line with changes brought forth by House Bill 1551 in 2020. That bill removed outdated language from the 1980's that targeted people with HIV Aids. 

According to Grellner, the state isn't trying to forcibly quarantine those with COVID-19 or who are unvaccinated.

"There are no rules. And there are there is no process in place to create a rule to involuntarily quarantine or isolate COVID-19 positive people," Grellner said. "Regardless of vaccination status, there are there are no laws and no plans to do that."

Grellner also said the state board of health has received more than 25,000 emails about these claims. Some of those messages have crossed the line.

"Board of Health members and our Board of Health staff, we're actually being threatened," Grellner said. "And it's just, it's not okay."

So we can verify that no, the state isn't trying to forcibly quarantine those who have COVID or are unvaccinated.

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