University Hospital in Newark, N.J. Hickox who was later discharged and
allowed to return to her home in Maine says she has no intention of
abiding by a “voluntary” quarantine there.
Maine’s Gov. Paul LePage says he will seek to legally force a
nurse to undergo a 21-day quarantine after her return from West Africa,
where she volunteered to treat Ebola patients.
In a tit-for-tat battle over the quarantine issue, Kaci Hickox had first been forced into isolation
upon her arrival in New Jersey over the weekend despite showing no
symptoms of Ebola. After she blasted New Jersey officials for confining
her, she was discharged earlier this week and allowed to return home to Maine. There she has refused to participate in a voluntary quarantine.
Speaking on NBC’s Today show and ABC’s Good Morning America, Hickox said bluntly: “I don’t plan on sticking to the guidelines.”
she’s hired a lawyer, who was quoted by The Associated Press as saying
his client isn’t willing to cooperate with state officials unless they
life “all or most of the restrictions.”
That prompted this
statement from the LePage’s office: “Upon learning the healthcare worker
intends to defy the protocols, the Office of the Governor has been
working collaboratively with the State health officials within the
Department of Health and Human Services to seek legal authority to
enforce the quarantine.”
Hickox, who had volunteered for
non-profit Doctors Without Borders in Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone,
showed no signs of the disease on her return to the U.S.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo were also sharply criticized for ordering mandatory quarantines.
AP says: “Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary
Mayhew says Maine’s policies go above and beyond federal Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which require monitoring but
not quarantine. She says she’ll ‘pursue legal authority’ for anyone
violating the voluntary in-home quarantine.”
Health Organization Assistant Director General Bruce Aylward says that
the organization is seeing a decline in the spread of the deadly virus
in worst-hit Liberia and that he’s confident health officials are
getting the upper hand.
Aylward says he’s cautiously optimistic
that the rate of cases is slowing and, that if trends continue, WHO
should “comfortably” meet its deadline of early December for putting
Ebola containment measures in place, according to Reuters.
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