Nurse released from Ebola quarantine
NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) – A nurse who worked in West Africa with Ebola patients was released this afternoon after being quarantined through the weekend in an isolation tent at a New Jersey hospital.
Kaci Hickox had been symptom-free for 24 hours and was being taken to Maine, where she lives, the state Health Department said in a statement today. She left University Hospital in Newark around 1:20 p.m. in a private vehicle, according to hospital spokeswoman Stacie Newton.
A statement released by the office of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said health officials in Maine had been notified of her arrival and that they could decide on her treatment and monitoring from there. Maine’s protocols require her to be quarantined in her home in Fort Kent for 21 days after the last possible exposure to the disease.
Hickox complained about her treatment in New Jersey after she became the first person forced into the state’s mandatory quarantine, announced Friday by Christie for people arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport from three West African countries.
“We are pleased that the state of New Jersey has decided to release Kaci. They had no justification to confine her,” said Norman Siegel, the prominent New York civil rights attorney Hickox hired while she was quarantined. He said that she has not ruled out legal action.
Speaking at a campaign event for Florida Governor Rick Scott, this morning, Christie said when Hickox “has time to reflect, she’ll understand” the quarantine and that he is happy to send her home.
Maine Governor Paul R. LePage said that the state will work with health care workers who treated Ebola patients in West Africa to establish in-home quarantine protocols.