A recent Alaska Supreme Court ruling upheld the right of the state to forcibly isolate and quarantine a Bethel man who tested positive for Covid in October of 2020.

Chief Justice Daniel Winfree, Peter Maassen, Susan Carney and Dario Borghesan signed the Jan. 19 ruling. Arguing for the state was Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor and Assistant AG Laura Fox.

The incident was initially covered by several local media outlets in 2020. An article in Alaska Public Media reported that Bethel police chased a man down the street, wrestled him to the ground and placed him in handcuffs before hauling him to jail.

Danny broke free from his state-imposed isolation at least twice, and was then involuntarily hospitalized for a mental health evaluation.

Bethel Police Chief Richard Simmons said local authorities requested and received a quarantine order from the Alaska Department of Health.

According to the court’s Jan. 19 ruling, Danny G. (pseudonym) tested positive for Covid on Oct. 12, 2020. The Alaska Department of Health then issued an isolation order, stipulating that he must quarantine in a local behavioral health facility because he was homeless and had no other place to isolate. Danny refused to comply.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy looks on as his Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink speaks during a press conference during the early stages of the Covid outbreak.

Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anne Zink, then wrote an affidavit to the superior court in support of the order directing Danny to remain isolated for about a week, the Supreme Court ruling recounts.

Zink’s affidavit justifying the petition argued that Covid is a “highly infectious and potentially deadly disease,” and that “Danny had tested positive for the virus and had shown an inability or unwillingness to voluntarily isolate from others in the community.”

Alaska Statute permits the state to issue an emergency order to temporarily quarantine an individual against their will if it “has probable cause to believe that the delay involved in seeking a court order … would pose a clear and immediate threat to the public health.”

To issue such an order, Alaska law requires the state to file a petition within 24 hours of implementing the quarantine order, and to explain its rationale to the courts.

Danny had to participate in his court hearing telephonically from jail.

Before the Oct. 16 court hearing could occur, Danny broke free from his state-imposed isolation at least twice, and was then involuntarily hospitalized for a mental health evaluation, court documents state.

His isolation hearing was then delayed for a day, but before the hearing Danny was released from the hospital and then promptly arrested and jailed by Bethel police on Oct. 15 for ignoring the state’s isolation order.

This meant that Danny had to participate in his court hearing telephonically from jail.

Court documents relay that Danny was asymptomatic and did not see himself as a public safety threat. Furthermore, he argued that the state overstepped its lawful authority in jailing him after he declined to quarantine.

During his superior court hearing, Danny claimed that he did not even have Covid, court documents note.

To rebut this claim, the state presented a positive Covid test result from the regional hospital.

A local doctor then told the superior court that the test was “highly sensitive and specific,” and rarely inaccurate. She asserted that although she understood Danny was asymptomatic, “40 to 60 percent of people who test positive for COVID-19 don’t exhibit any symptoms or have such minor symptoms that they don’t note them.”

In framing its opinion, the superior court relied, in part, on Dr. Zink’s statements.

“[E]ven though the virus level may be below the level of detection if a test were done … [Danny] could still infect other people,” she claimed.

While the superior court used Dr. Zink’s affidavit detailing the dangerous and infectious nature of Covid, the state never entered this information as evidence in the case.

However, the state’s closing arguments before the superior court directly cited Zink’s affidavit as part of the evidence that Danny had tested positive for a dangerous and infectious virus.

Danny’s counsel then argued that the state failed to meet its burden of clear and convincing evidence, asserting that when a person, like Danny, is asymptomatic and “doesn’t believe they’ve been exposed to the virus,” the hospital should provide a second test to satisfy the clear and convincing evidence standard.

The superior court disagreed and ruled that the state’s “facts were sufficient to warrant quarantine or isolation,” court documents show.

In appealing the superior court ruling, Danny told the Supreme Court that the state should not have placed him in jail for declining to abide by its isolation order

In framing its opinion, the superior court relied, in part, on Dr. Zink’s statements.

The superior court also affirmed the state’s contention that given Danny’s unwillingness to forcibly isolate, it was “necessary [to] prevent or limit the transmission to others of a disease that poses significant risk to the public and no less restrictive alternative is available.”

The court then ordered Danny to isolate for five days at the local behavioral health residential facility where he previously had been admitted, noting that jail would not be the least restrictive alternative.

In appealing the superior court ruling, Danny told the Supreme Court that the state should not have placed him in jail for declining to abide by its isolation order, as it runs counter to Alaska statue that requires the state to use the least restrictive means necessary to achieve its quarantine purposes. Danny asked the Supreme Court to rule that the state violated Alaska statute.

The Supreme Court declined to weigh in on the legal merits of placing Danny in jail prior to his trial and instead focused on the merits of the superior court’s ruling on the original isolation order.

The high court noted that in order for the state to forcibly isolate someone there must be “clear and convincing evidence” that the quarantine is necessary to prevent or limit significant risk to the public health.

Ultimately the high court said the lower court was wrong to use Zink’s statements as evidence in affirming the state’s position because the state did not include Zink’s document as evidence, which it must do in order for it to be used as part of the final ruling.

Danny’s team claimed that without Zink’s affidavit the state failed to present sufficient justification for its quarantine order and the risks COVID-19 might pose to public health. Furthermore, Danny claimed that the superior court’s isolation order was wrong because “whether COVID-19 poses a significant risk to public health is subject to reasonable dispute.”

The Supreme Court rejected Danny’s claim and affirmed that the superior court was correct in finding that the state had sufficient “evidence” to deem him to be a “significant public health risk,” even without Zink’s opinion. The justices said testimony from the local doctor was sufficient to demonstrate that Danny could infect others despite being asymptomatic.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Alaska Supremes uphold state’s forced quarantine of Covid-positive man in 2020

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • DoneWithIt says:

    In the end – these people who are willing to take our liberties and freedoms away, conduct medical experiments on our children, deny free men the right to worship and shop – they need to be held accountable like the fascists in Italy and the nazis in Germany – when the “war” was over these people were scared to walk the streets in public knowing what they had done to their countryman – executing banal evil under the guise of the greater good.

    • Wardaug says:

      It’s been said from the beginning if you give them (govt) a inch they will take a mile. Hopefully we can turn some of this mess around in the midterms. So many wrong headed people running this country

      • AK76 says:

        I mean no disrespect to any posts with the opinion that we can turn things around in the upcoming midterm elections. Folks, until we fix 2020 and get rid of electronic voting systems there won’t be any fair elections from the local level all the way up to the Federal level. I can’t spell it out any simpler than that. Now for our state supreme court debacle, we the people are going to have to take back the power from the corrupt and broke court system through a constitutional convention. The state supreme court has ignored the will of the people on many voter-approved laws. We the people hold the power, not elected or hired judges, legislators, or state officials!

  • Theresa says:

    Gee whiz, it’s too bad nobody was there to tackle and arrest Austin Quinn-Davidson when she broke her own self-isolation/quarantine order by stopping by her hair dresser’s shop to pick up her favorite shampoo on the way home from testing positive for Covid-19…
    Things could’ve looked a lot different for us in Anchorage if she had been held accountable, as this man was, for her “unwillingness to self-isolate from other members of the community” after testing positive for “a highly infectious and potentially deadly disease.”

  • John Otness says:


    • John otness says:

      the PCR does not even work so the genius behind the curtain here just shows the ships no rudder.

  • Ralph says:

    Driving is deadly too… or taking a shower.. if your compare the numbers.
    So are we going to mandate only baths and public transit?
    What we constantly hear about now are cases, deaths are going down, and were less than 2% overall anyways. So this “Deadly Virus” talking point is beside the issue.
    We The People are not livestock to be maintained, we have rights, Do Not Tread On Me 🙂

  • Jen says:

    I bet someone the defendant told reported him into the government. Thats the only way he’d be found out. Else how would they know? Would it change anyones mind if a covid positive person fleed from a toxic family member when another conflict occurred and the victim couldn’t stand being around the contentious family member.

    • Jen says:

      The problem with people without christ is they don’t know the Father’s grace.

    • Wilderness of Zin says:

      Bethel is a small community . And they were/are treating this like the bubonic plague . Sirens probably went off , village wide when he “tested” positive . Homeless also …. I bet the Fear Factor’y Police was called immediately .
      Why hasn’t every person who “tested” + quarantined ? Because it is all BS .

  • Carrie Harris says:

    Emergency powers to override the Constitution has got to stop, hopefully this can go in with the constitutional convention that puts the Constitution above emergency powers every time. Cuz right now the CDC is telling essential workers nurses and doctors they can go back to work even if they’re positive.

  • Matthew myers says:

    The Alaska ‘supreme’ court is pure garbage. Decrease our rights and rubber stamp Marxism. It’s all they do. Our legislooters not impeaching makes them 100% complicit in this!

    • Jesse says:

      Love the Term Legislooters. Truth when stated is funny. Like to laugh as we watch them carry out their stuff in boxes when we vote them out.

      • William says:

        I disagree with the court here. While a positive test with symptoms would be enough to prove someone has an illness, just the PCR test is not. Not even two or three PCR tests prove you have it if you don’t have symptoms. However, if someone has symptoms of a disease, that alone is reasonable proof of infection. Anyone who understands how the tech works AND how the law should work could tell you this.

  • Matthew myers says:

    And where is Don’tleavy on this?!?!
    What a worthless disappointment he has turned out to be.

  • Sammy says:

    The homeless have not suffered from covid like others, there’s not been a massive outbreak as predicted. Should have left him alone.

    • Wilderness of Zin says:

      Absolutely!!! For people who live “ unhealthy “ smoking cigarette butts from ashtrays , this group of people should have been dropping like flies .

  • Di says:

    We already know that Dunleavy is done….a long time ago. Citizens have asked many times for Zinke’s firing and Done Dunleavy gave her a reward. This abuse of the law by Dunleavy, Zinke and the court is no different than the story of the couple who had their child removed from their home by force, accused of abuse and now we find that the doctor should be brought up on criminal charges in two states. When will Dunleavy get smart? Since he can’t change his thinking, then the election needs to change who is governor of the State of Alaska. He hired her on Adam Crumb’s advice, kept her on Adam Crumb’s advice and ignores the people of the state that put him in a job to use good judgment. Dunleavy should have put a stop to this and ognored it.

  • Ralph says:

    Which test was used???????

    The real risk to public health… are the tyrants in our local government and courts whom think something that kills less than 2%, is a deadly threat.
    Better take away showers and mandate baths, if you disobey.. to jail with you. We can’t have you slipping and bumping your head. Its for the “greater good”.
    -History will prove the swamp monsters like their swamp and will do anything they can to drown you by any means for even trying to drain their ses-pit.

  • Jesse says:

    No one mentioned the faulty tests which were testing the majority of people as positive when indeed they were actually negative, then prompting the false claim that people were asymptomatic. Could someone legally reach out and take this case pro bono. Its a great opportunity to up hold all of our rights and make a name for yourself legally.
    Sorry Danny G. Your constitutional rights were violated and this is injustice in the Final US Frontier.

  • Wilderness of Zin says:

    It’s hard to believe that a doctor , who tested a person using a proven to be inaccurate “test” has enough clout , that a court will take their words as Gospel and use that as a reason to abduct and incarcerate . “ The narrative must be maintained at all costs “.
    My feeling is , how can anyone trust the courts , the doctors or the police at this point .

  • NAV says:

    What is amazing is these individuals sitting on the bench are violating his civil liberties and civil rights when the Fed’s just ruled against OSHA’s supposed mandate !!! The SUPREME COURT RULED AGAINST OSHA do you understand the significance of that ruling? So the BIG QUESTION IS WHO ARE YOU Chief Justice Daniel Winfree, Peter Maassen, Susan Carney and Dario Borghesan in signing the Jan. 19 ruling that arguing for the state was Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor and Assistant AG Laura Fox to go against the Supreme Court Ruling? The Court ruled that OSHA lacked the authority to impose such a mandate because the law that created OSHA “empowers the Secretary to set workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.”

  • Leon says:

    An administrative ruling from an administrative government using interpretive regs while claiming they have a concern with no facts or findings of law