NY, NJ Ignite Debate on Ebola Quarantine Policies in U.S.
the MPR take:
Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was quarantined outside a New Jersey hospital after returning from working with Doctors Without Borders in West Africa, has been discharged from her mandatory quarantine. Although she had tested negative for Ebola twice, Hickox continued to be held in isolation in a makeshift tent outside the hospital in conditions she described as “inhumane”. The governor of NJ, Chris Christie, had at first stood by his decision for the quarantine but then changed his mind today, allowing Hickox to be sent home to Maine where officials there will determine whether she needs to continue to be kept in isolation in her own home. The debate on how to handle workers returning from Ebola-ravaged regions in West Africa has now moved into the hands of the federal government after New York and New Jersey imposed their own strict regulations, requiring all persons returning from Ebola-infected areas to be automatically isolated for 21 days upon their return. The White House has issued a statement saying it is uncomfortable with the way New York and New Jersey has handled the situation and will be issuing policies, in conjunction with the CDC, on how healthcare workers should be handled upon their return. There is concern that such stringent policies may deter healthcare workers from traveling to West Africa to help fight the epidemic.
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