Maine Officials Prepared to Enforce “Voluntary” Quarantine

by Christian Mower on October 29, 2014

FORT KENT, Maine (AP) — Maine health officials say they’re prepared to legally enforce the state’s “voluntary” quarantine on health care workers who’ve treated Ebola patients.

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew declined Tuesday to comment specifically on the case of nurse Kaci Hickox, who was confined against her will at a New Jersey hospital.

Hickox treated sick patients in West Africa but says she’s symptom-free. She’s staying in Maine. Her lawyer has insisted she’s not under quarantine.

Mayhew says Maine’s policies go above and beyond federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which require monitoring but not quarantine. She says she’ll “pursue legal authority” for anyone violating the voluntary in-home quarantine.

The state on Monday said there would be a quarantine for Hickox and made it sound mandatory but later said it was voluntary.