Maine nurse, state disagree over quarantine

Kaci Hickox (AP Photo/University of Texas at Arlington)

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — State officials are seeking legal authority to enforce the quarantine of a nurse who treated Ebola patients in Africa and says there’s no justification to keep her in isolation, Gov. Paul LePage said Wednesday.

State police are monitoring the Fort Kent home where nurse Kaci Hickox is under voluntary quarantine, LePage added. That was to ensure her protection as well as the safety of the community, he said.

Hickox told NBC’s “Today” show and ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she has so far abided by the state’s voluntary quarantine. She said she had no contact with anyone Tuesday and will have no human contact again Wednesday. But she said she doesn’t plan to cooperate after that.

“I don’t plan on sticking to the guidelines,” Hickox said on “Today.” “I remain appalled by these home quarantine policies that have been forced upon me even though I am in perfectly good health.”

Her lawyer told The Associated Press that Hickox isn’t willing to cooperate further unless the state lifts “all or most of the restrictions,” which LePage said was disappointing.

“We hoped that the healthcare worker would voluntarily comply with these protocols, but this individual has stated publicly she will not abide by the protocols,” LePage said in a statement. “We are very concerned about her safety and health and that of the community.”

Hickox, who volunteered in Africa with Doctors Without Borders, was the first person forced into New Jersey’s mandatory quarantine for people arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport from three West African countries.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo were sharply criticized for ordering mandatory quarantines for health care workers like Hickox who’ve shown no symptoms of Ebola. Now in Maine, Hickox arrived Tuesday night at the off-campus home of her boyfriend, who’s a senior nursing student at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

“I am not going to sit around and be bullied by politicians and forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public,” she said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s