Maine Considering Legal Action Against Nurse Refusing Quarantine

the MPR take:

Maine Governor Paul LePage is currently weighing legal options regarding the quarantine enforcement of Kaci Hickox, a nurse who recently returned to the U.S. after treating Ebola patients in West Africa. Hickox was quarantined over the weekend against her will in New Jersey after her flight arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport; both New York and New Jersey had just implemented a mandatory 21 day quarantine for anyone who had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie agreed to release Hickox from the quarantine early after it was confirmed that she was no longer symptomatic, but she is currently seeking legal action against the state. Maine officials had requested that Hickox remain quarantined at her home for 21 days since her last possible contact with an Ebola patient, emphasizing that it would become mandatory if she resisted; her lawyers state that the restrictions are unconstitutional and illegal. Hickox’s lawyers plan to take the matter to court in Maine if the state government attempts to physically apprehend their client for an involuntary quarantine. Hickox has never exhibited any Ebola symptoms and has twice tested negative, but has agreed to monitor herself for symptoms over the 21 day duration without quarantine. Organizations like Doctors without Borders are concerned that measures such as those enacted by these states will deter healthcare workers from volunteering overseas to help in the fight against Ebola.

A state trooper was parked Wednesday outside the house where a Maine nurse was holed up and vowing to defy a quarantine imposed because she treated Ebola patients in West Africa. The trooper said the nurse, Kaci Hickox, would be arrested if she walked outside. Hickox told TODAY earlier that she would go to court if Maine didn't lift its restrictions by Thursday.