Summit County Judge quarantined as a precautionary measure after trip to Italy in February

Summit County Judge  Alison McCarty
Posted at 11:48 AM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 18:14:55-05

AKRON, Ohio — A Summit County Common Pleas Court judge has been quarantined as a precautionary measure after she traveled abroad with her family last month.

Judge Alison McCarty traveled in February to Italy where there has been a widespread transmission of coronavirus.

McCarty, who spoke to News 5 from her home via FaceTime, said she's taking precautions and using her best judgment.

"I really am sort of my own boss. I'm an elected official, so I thought I don't want to be irresponsible here," McCarty said. "I work in a courthouse with hundreds-- maybe thousands of people-- go through and so I truly did not want to do anything irresponsible."

The judge and her husband, Tom, spent 10 days in Italy traveling through Florence and Venice to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

Judge McCarty in Italy
Judge Alison McCarty with her husband in Italy

The couple's daughter, Grace, lives in Paris and flew into Italy to spend time with her parents.

Judge McCarty
Judge McCarty with her daughter.

"The three of us had a fantastic time and then we started hearing these discussions about how the coronavirus apparently is making its appearance," McCarty said.

McCarty said the family exercised caution by washing their hand regularly and not touching common areas.

On Sunday, Alison and and Tom flew home and landed in Cleveland. On Monday morning, the judge received a text from her daughter indicating she felt sick.

"She's got symptoms now. She's sick. She's got chills and nausea," the judge said.

After consulting with Summit County Public Health, Judge McCarty felt the best course of action was to self-quarantine until tests reveal if Grace is positive or negative for the coronavirus.

"I'm not worried for myself. I just want to hear that my daughter is okay and I'm pretty confident I'm gong to be fine."

Summit County Public Health released a statement Monday afternoon, confirming that a Summit County resident was quarantined after returning from travel with her family last week to Italy.

Due to a family member outside the United States becoming ill and consultation with the Ohio Department of Health regarding the individual’s situation the decision was made to recommend quarantine. The Summit County resident is not presently considered a Person Under Investigation (PUI) under the current CDC guidelines. A person under investigation must be symptomatic and have been in contact with someone with a laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infection within 14 days of symptom onset and/or travel to an affected area within14 days of symptom onset. Currently there are no COVID-19 cases in Ohio.

McCarty said others judges are handling her caseload while she's quarantined.

“We have been informed that a Judge has been quarantined after traveling overseas. I will see that her courtroom is covered and will work with local and state officials in executing a plan moving forward to address concerns surrounding the coronavirus,” said Administrative Judge Amy Corrigall Jones.

Over the weekend, Italy reported 34 deaths and the United States issued a travel advisory warning American citizens against visiting, according to the Associated Press.