Maine’s Health Officials Begin Legal Action to Force Quarantine of Ebola Nurse [UPDATE+VIDEO]
As Maine health officials initiate legal action to try to force Kaci Hickox to complete the 21-day quarantine, she stepped outside her Fort Kent home last night to address reporters and accompanied her boyfriend on a bicycle ride this morning.
Hickox has returned to her boyfriend's home in Fort Kent, after a brief and involuntary quarantine in New Jersey. She protested that isolation and requested to be allowed to go home to Fort Kent. Once she was released from the tent, her lawyer announced that she would only remain in isolation for a day or two, prompting Maine health officials to act. Governor Paul LePage spoke out in a statement on Wednesday supporting the actions of DHHS and the Maine CDC.
DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew announced on Tuesday that the state would take legal action if Hickox refused to comply. At a press conference in Augusta Wednesday, Mayhew announced the wheels have been put into motion.
Hickox appeared on several network TV morning shows on Wednesday via Skype. She told interviewers Matt Lauer and George Stephanopoulos that she is strong, feeling great, and exhibiting no symptoms of the Ebola virus. She also said that if the quarantine is not lifted by Thursday, she will go to court to fight it. Hickox says she doesn't want other healthcare workers to reconsider going to West Africa to help with the outbreak because they fear the time commitment and isolation of a forced quarantine when they get home.
Hickox stood arm in arm with her boyfriend Wednesday night to address reporters, stating that she continues to be healthy and symptom-free. This morning, the couple went on a bike ride, followed by members of the media and a single state trooper.
Here's the video: