UPDATE: 9:55 AM EST
Kaci Hickox, the nurse quarantined in a New Jersey hospital after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, will be released following her announcement she would sue officials.
Hickox will be taken on a private carrier to Maine, the State Health Department said in a statement Monday. It is unclear if she will still take legal action.
A nurse who recently returned to the U.S. after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone plans to sue after authorities placed her under a mandatory quarantine, even though she tested negative for the virus twice.
Kaci Hickox, of Fort Kent, Maine, criticized the “knee-jerk reaction” by politicians to the Ebola outbreak, telling CNN the mandatory quarantine of healthy persons is “just preposterous.” She is currently being held at University Hospital in Newark and is mandated to spend 21 days in the facility.
“This is an extreme that is really unacceptable, and I feel like my basic human rights have been violated,” Hickox told CNN’s Candy Crowley on “State of the Union.”
She described herself as “physically strong” but “emotionally exhausted.
“To put me through this emotional and physical stress is completely unacceptable,” she said.
She slammed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for describing her as “obviously ill.”
“First of all, I don’t think he’s a doctor; secondly, he’s never laid eyes on me; and thirdly, I’ve been asymptomatic since I’ve been here,” Hickox told Crowley Sunday.
Following the diagnosis of a New York City doctor last week, Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered quarantines for all medical workers who had treated Ebola patients overseas. On Sunday, a spokesman for Christie reiterated the new policy, issuing a statement saying that people who came in contact with someone with Ebola would have to undergo the mandatory quarantine but could do so at home.
It did not explain why Hickox was being held at the hospital, though it did say, “Non-residents would be transported to their homes if feasible and, if not, quarantined in New Jersey.”
Hickox’s attorney maintains she is healthy and should be able to go home as soon as possible.
“She’s fine. She’s not sick,” lawyer Steven Hyman said in a sidewalk news conference aired on CNN affiliate WABC. “She went and did a magnanimous thing and deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, not put in isolation because some political leaders decided it looks good to do that.”
Lawyer Norman Siegal, former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said he’ll be filing papers in court for Hickox to have a hearing no later than five days from the start of her confinement.
He said the doctors at the hospital say there’s no medical reason to hold her. The policy Christie enacted is unconstitutional and too broad, he said.
“We need to know what the medical facts are and not rely on politicians who have their own vested interests,” he said.
New York Loosens Ebola Policy
After ordering that all returning health care workers be placed under a mandatory quarantine, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced they were loosening the reigns to allow quarantines to be spent at home.
The new guidelines will allow health care workers who have had contact with patients infected with Ebola to stay at home for 21 days, rather than at a medical facility. The health of those individuals would be monitored throughout that period. Healthcare workers returning from West Africa who had not had contact with Ebola patients would be monitored at a less rigorous level, Cuomo said.
Cuomo also defended implementing a mandatory 3-week quarantine after the practice came under fire from federal officials and a nurse who was detained. He said that the new protocol in New York would “probably be somewhat safer than what CDC comes up with.”
“Some people say we’re being too cautious, I’ll take that criticism,” Cuomo said. “If you want to call it a criticism that I want to be safer than CDC says, fine.” He added that having the three week quarantine period was “better than the alternative” of having people get sick.
Read more here…[HuffingtonPost]
Possible New Case Of Virus
A 5-year-old boy who returned home from Guinea Saturday is under observation at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital after coming down with a 103-degree fever.
The boy has not yet been tested for Ebola but is in isolation, the city’s health department said. Not much else is known about his condition.
We’ll keep you updated with the latest from Bellevue Hospital. Read more here…[ABC]
VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.