A public hearing was held in Christian County Court on Wednesday afternoon concerning quarantines over exposure to COVID-19, but not a positive test. A minor child was sent home from a school in Taylorville after the minor was exposed to someone else who tested positive. The mother, Dr. Stacey Funderburk, sent the child to school as the child had not tested positive and showed no symptoms. The Health Department filed a quarantine order with the State’s Attorney’s Office who then served the minor on January 10th. The choice was to stay home and voluntarily comply or a hearing would be held within 48 hours. Dr. Funderburk hired Attorney Thomas Devore, who has handled a few cases similar to this one.
During the public hearing, Devore informed the court that procedurally, the Christian County Health Department did the right thing. The Health Department issued an emergency order which was brought by the Christian County Sheriff’s Office on January 10th. Devore told the court that due to the law, the State’s Attorney’s Office would have to prove that the child, who was at a volleyball tournament, had significant close contact with the person who tested positive, which is 6 feet for more than 15 minutes.
Devore continued by arguing that the State and more importantly the Christian County Health Department would not be able to provide any witnesses that could testify to the close contact of the minor in question. Therefore without any proof, the Court would have no choice but to find in favor of the minor. Judge Jeffrey DeLong checked with the State’s Attorney’s Office to see if they had a rebuttal to Devore’s statements.
State’s Attorney Wes Poggenpohl, admitted this was the first case he had tried. Poggenpohl says they had to meet certain time frames and had to rush through it for presenting evidence. Still, Poggenpohl says that they were happy they were able to get most of the quarantine filled. He believed that they had the evidence to win the case.
The public hearing was dismissed due to a technical issue in the petition and Attorney for the minor, Thomas Devore, says that it is nice to see justice served correctly and the law followed the right way.
Devore says that procedurally the case was done the right way, but the case didn't proceed to the hearing because of a technical defect in the petition. Judge DeLong says if the case is to be refiled or another case filed, the State will have to have the right evidence to show close contact.