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New Jersey officials announced Monday that a nurse quarantined after returning from West Africa will be released and allowed to return home.
Kaci Hickox was held in quarantine at a Newark hospital since she was taken off of a flight Friday.
“Since testing negative for Ebola on early Saturday morning, the patient being monitored in isolation at University Hospital in Newark has thankfully been symptom free for the last 24 hours,” a New Jersey health department statement read. “As a result, and after being evaluated in coordination with the CDC and the treating clinicians at University Hospital, the patient is being discharged.”
Hickox protested the forced quarantine and threatened to sue, saying the “appalling” response by Gov. Christie was unnecessary. In an interview with CNN, she disputed his assertion that she needed to be quarantined.
“If he knew anything about Ebola he would know that asymptomatic people are not infectious,”she said to CNN.
“This is an extreme that is really unacceptable, and I feel like my basic human rights have been violated,” Hickox also said. “To put me through this emotional and physical stress is completely unacceptable.”
Gov. Chris Christie, along with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, announced tough mandatory quarantine policies on Friday for anyone who has had contact with Ebola patients and returns to the United States.
Federal officials criticized the policies and urged the governors to reconsider. Soon after the criticism began, Cuomo said the quarantines could be spent at home as long as the person is not showing any symptoms. Gov. Christie has since followed.
This means Hickox will be allowed to return to her home in Maine by private transportation. While in New Jersey, she is still under the state’s mandatory quarantine and cannot use public transportation.
Other states are implementing similar policies. Maryland and Virginia have both implemented in-home quarantine policies, although they differ on the specifics of what conditions will merit the quarantine.
More states could step up with tough Ebola policies if the federal government continues to insist on a limited response.
Featured image from Shutterstock
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