Nurse Won't Obey Maine Quarantine

State says it is 'willing to pursue legal authority'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2014 4:58 AM CDT
Updated Oct 29, 2014 7:59 AM CDT
Nurse Won't Obey Maine Quarantine
This Oct. 26, 2014, photo provided by attorney Steven Hyman shows nurse Kaci Hickox in an isolation tent at University Hospital in Newark, NJ.   (AP Photo/Steven Hyman)

Nurse Kaci Hickox has gone from forced quarantine in New Jersey to "voluntary" quarantine in Maine—but it may not be voluntary for long. Her lawyer tells the Bangor Daily News that she agreed not to go out in public for two days, but "she doesn't want to agree to continue to be confined to a residence beyond the two days." State health officials counter that they don't want to "have to legally enforce in-home quarantine," but they "are willing to pursue legal authority if necessary to ensure risk is minimized," NBC reports. Hickox, who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone but has not shown symptoms and has tested negative for the disease, is being monitored daily as per the CDC's new guidelines. More:

  • A civil rights lawyer who is also representing Hickox says the nurse will fight any court order for home quarantine. The conditions the state wants her "to comply with are unconstitutional and illegal and there is no justification for the state of Maine to infringe on her liberty," he says.

  • The New York State Department of Health has issued detailed guidelines for dealing with potential Ebola patients, reports the New York Times. They go beyond federal guidelines, imposing a 21-day quarantine period, but say travelers arriving from West Africa should be treated with the "utmost respect and concern" and "preference should be given to quarantining the passenger in his or her residence."
  • President Obama spoke with Dallas nurse Amber Vinson after her release from the hospital yesterday. He later told reporters that medical workers should be "applauded, thanked, and supported" for dealing with the outbreak in West Africa, reports Reuters. They will be monitored on their return, but "we want to make sure that we understand that they are doing God's work over there," he said. "And they're doing that to keep us safe."
  • With Vinson now Ebola-free, New York City doctor Craig Spencer is now the only American Ebola patient. Officials in Maryland say a patient isolated at a Baltimore hospital on Monday has tested negative for the disease, WBAL reports.
(More Ebola stories.)

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