General Crime

* Redwood City Man Charles Dvorak Pleads Not Guilty To Exposing Other Patients To Tuberculosis

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A 60-year-old man pleaded not guilty in San Mateo County Superior Court on Tuesday to a rare charge of violating hospital orders by exposing himself to patients while quarantined with tuberculosis.Charles Dvorak delayed entering his plea several times in Mayuntil he was cleared by a doctor to make an appearance in court, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.He was admitted to Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Medical Center on April 27 with multiple symptoms including coughing. He was then diagnosed with contagious tuberculosis and placed in quarantine so as not to expose other patients at the hospital, Wagstaffe said.However, Dvorak allegedly continued to leave his room and turn off the air filtration system against the hospital’s orders. According to Wagstaffe, Dvorak is a “chronic alcoholic” and has been involved in around 75 separate cases over the past 22 years.The hospital in early May obtained a formal health order from San Mateo County Health Officer Scott Morrow that directed Dvorak to remain in his room and comply with all directives, Wagstaffe said.Dvorak was told it would be a misdemeanor violation to disobey the order, according to Wagstaffe.For the next three days, Dvorak allegedly continued to leave his room and expose other patients in the hospital until he was eventually arrested on a $100,000 bench warrant and taken into custody,Wagstaffe said.Dvorak was then booked into the San Mateo County jail in specialized quarantine room to ensure the disease should not spread throughout the jail. He remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail.He faces a health and safety code misdemeanor charge of disobeying a quarantine order of a county health director, an extremely rare charge for San Mateo County, Wagstaffe said.

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