Texas police say they arrested a person for falsely claiming on social media to be infected with coronavirus.
“Over the weekend, an individual in Tyler County falsely reported on social media that the individual tested positive for COVID-19 at Tyler County Hospital,” the Tyler County District Attorney’s office announced in a Facebook post.
“The case was promptly investigated by the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office and delivered to the District Attorney’s Office.”
The unidentified individual has been charged with a Class A Misdemeanor, False Alarm/False Report.
The announcement elicited mixed reactions from users, with one accusing Texas authorities of behaving like their contemporaries in China, where COVID-19 originated.
In a follow-up post, the DA’s office warned, “Knowingly communicating, initiating, or circulating a false report/false alarm of COVID-19 that one *knows is false or baseless*, and that would ordinarily cause action by an official or interrupt the occupation of any place of assembly, can be a criminal offense in the State of Texas.”
There are at least 83 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Texas at the time of this writing, but none in Tyler County.
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