CDC's New Ebola Policy: No Forced Quarantine

But military personnel now in 'controlled monitoring'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2014 11:20 PM CDT
Updated Oct 28, 2014 12:05 AM CDT
Feds' New Ebola Policy Stops Short of Mandatory Quarantine
Members of the media wait near an entrance to University Hospital in Newark, NJ, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

The federal government has rolled out new guidelines for health workers who have had contact with Ebola patients, and they stop short of the mandatory quarantines introduced in several states. Instead, the CDC guidelines released to state health departments recommend that people at risk isolate themselves voluntarily for 21 days, reports the Wall Street Journal. They will be monitored by health workers, banned from flying, and told to avoid public transport and "congregate settings" like offices, says CDC chief Tom Frieden, who stresses the need to avoid discouraging health workers from dealing with the West Africa outbreak.

"If we do things that make it very difficult for people to come back, if we turn them into pariahs instead of recognizing the heroic work that they're doing, a couple of things may happen that none of us want to happen," Frieden says. But the Pentagon appears to have set a different policy for its personnel, reports CNN. While the military isn't using the term "quarantine," officials say Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, the commander of US Army Africa, and around 10 other personnel are now in "controlled monitoring" for a 21-day period at an "access controlled" location at a base in Italy after returning from West Africa. (More Ebola stories.)

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