Earlier this week, we learned that Audrey Whitlock, one of the ringleaders of the “ReOpen NC” movement, had tested positive for coronavirus—and yet, bitched about her rights being violated when she was told to self-quarantine for two weeks. This woman, as it turns out, lives in Charlotte—something that really unnerves this lifelong Charlottean.
Well, if possible, I’m even more unnerved after discovering that a COVID-19 positive woman in Louisville has been arrested for flouting an order to self-quarantine in order to take a jaunt to her neighborhood Kroger. And it turns out it’s not the first time she’s broken quarantine.
A Louisville woman who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus was arrested Monday after police said she refused a court order to self-quarantine and went inside the Kroger at Central Station.
Kendra A. Burnett, 37, was arrested just before 10:30 a.m. at the Kroger, 3165 S. Second St., after her mother told a Louisville Metro Police officer that she was violating a court order to self-quarantine, according to an arrest citation.
On Monday, Burnett's mother pointed her out to the LMPD officer as Burnett left the store, the citation said.
The LMPD officer contacted the county attorney as well, who said Burnett had refused to self-quarantine about three times, according to the arrest report, which did not say when Burnett had tested positive for COVID-19.
The store is located in the same area as Churchill Downs and Cardinal Stadium. There were some 200 people in the store at the time, and Burnett is believed to have come in contact with five of them. However, Louisville public health officials do not believe that any customers came within six feet of Burnett for longer than 15 minutes. That doesn’t make it any less frightening. And she did this at least three other times? This woman is a modern version of Typhoid Mary. Is this the example you want to follow, Audrey?
If possible, this story is even more hideous. It turns out that the courts only got involved when Burnett refused to voluntarily agree to self-quarantine on April 3. After she failed to answer repeated emails and phone calls from public health authorities, Metro police paid her a visit. No one came to the door, even though Burnett’s car was was in the driveway and it was obvious people were home. Additionally, Burnett’s neighbors told police that Burnett had been seen coming and going numerous times.
Under the circumstances, it was a mere formality when a circuit judge ordered Burnett to stay home with an ankle monitor for 14 days, or when she no longer shows symptoms. Under the order, effective on April 14, she was also required to wear an ankle monitor. And yet, she’s flouted this order at least four times, and was out and about several other times after testing positive—most likely at some point in late March.
Burnett once worked at Treyton Oaks Towers, a senior facility in Louisville that is currently one of the biggest hot zones in Kentucky. At least 35 residents have tested positive for the virus, and 13 of them have died. Burnett is believed to be one of at least 15 current or former employees to have tested positive. She was fired on April 6. While Treyton Oaks officials haven’t elaborated, it’s very likely she was fired after she refused to follow up with public health officials. After this, it may be time to take a good, long look at her past history. She doesn’t sound like someone whom I’d allow within an area code of my 70-something mother.
Burnett is presently facing five counts of first-degree wanton endangerment (Kentucky’s version of reckless endangerment), as well as one count of contempt of court and one count of second-degree mischief. If convicted, she’s potentially looking at a minimum of six years in prison. Frankly, anything less than five years would be a joke for this, given the danger she caused to police, shoppers, store employees, and potentially anyone else with whom she came in contact. Plus, I’m of the mind that she should be on the hook for the special protective measures that will almost certainly be required at her trial. At the very least, in all likelihood Burnett’s life is likely over. No reputable employer would hire someone this reckless. It’s not too early to start calling her “Covid Kendra.”
I ask again—is this the example Audrey Whitlock wants to follow? It’s absolutely frightening to think people like this are out among us. Prosecutors in Louisville need to make an example of this woman and ensure she is locked up for as long as legally possible. People like her are the kind of people who really do belong in prison.
Christian Dem in NC
Since this made the rec list, I thought I’d mention that even if no one came in contact with her at Kroger, everyone who was in that store at the time should seriously think about getting tested. This virus can live for a long time on surfaces.
Christian Dem in NC
To clarify—the court order was entered on April 14, meaning that she was due to come off quarantine on April 28 or three days after she last showed symptoms. So this happened just one freaking day before the earliest that the quarantine was due to expire.