Fort Kent Nurse Steps out of Home, Police Monitor
A nurse from Fort Kent who treated Ebola patients in West Africa and has been under a voluntary in-home quarantine stepped outside her home Wednesday evening to voice her concerns about the state’s quarantine guidelines.
Kaci Hickox briefly left her home for an impromptu press conference with her boyfriend at her side. She reiterated her concerns about the state’s quarantine. Police have been monitoring Hickox's activity, but Maine health officials say until a judge signs off on a court order they don’t have the authority to prevent her from leaving her home.
Hickox has shown no symptoms of Ebola and said she plans to defy the quarantine. The state is trying to enforce it. For now, Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew says police will monitor the nurse if she leaves her house. But Hickox can’t be detained without the judge’s approval, which the state is working on getting.
Maine's protocols for health care workers go beyond what's recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC guidelines call for monitoring workers who've come into contact with Ebola patients; the state recommends a voluntary quarantine.
Governor Paul LePage has said that he plans to do all he can to protect other Mainers.
Hickox's lawyer, Norman Siegel says Hickox hopes her fight against the quarantine will help bring an end to misinformation about how Ebola is transmitted. He says she has "an important voice and perspective that should be heard."
Kaci Hickox apparently left her Fort Kent home to go for a bike ride with her boyfriend at around 9 a.m. on Wednesday. State Police followed her.
We'll be continuing to follow this story and keep you up to date as to what unfolds.