NJ Releases Nurse From Forced Quarantine
Kaci Hickox plans to sue
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2014 5:03 AM CDT
Updated Oct 27, 2014 9:06 AM CDT
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, listens as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie talks at a news conference on Oct. 24, 2014, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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(Newser) – Kaci Hickox's time being treated like a "criminal" by the state of New Jersey is coming to an end. ABC News reports the state announced this morning that it will release the nurse, who flew into New Jersey on Friday after working with Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, from forced quarantine. The NJ Department of Health says in a statement that Hickox has "thankfully been symptom free for the last 24 hours" and is being discharged following an evaluation by the CDC. "After consulting with her, she has requested transport to Maine, and that transport will be arranged via a private carrier, not via mass transit or commercial aircraft." Hickox plans to file a federal lawsuit over her quarantine, which she earlier said was taking place in an unheated tent. The NJDOH yesterday described it as a "climate-controlled, indoor, extended care area."

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has decided to loosen New York's policy. Last night he said health workers who had been in contact with Ebola patients in West Africa but did not show symptoms would be allowed to stay home during the 21-day quarantine period and would be compensated for lost income, reports the Washington Post. Under the revised regulations, which are more in line with CDC guidelines, people quarantined at home will be able to have visits from family and friends, and those who were not in direct contact with Ebola patients will not be quarantined; people in quarantine will be visited by health workers twice daily. The shift follows a White House statement expressing concerns with "the unintended consequences [of] policies not grounded in science may have on efforts to combat Ebola at its source."