State and national medical organizations have joined civil rights groups and others in opposing the LePage administration's protocols for health workers returning from West Africa, such as Kaci Hickox. Today the American Nurses Association and the Maine Medical Association criticized the state's requested 21-day quarantine for Hickox as unnecessary, unscientifically based and apt to create a climate of more fear. The ACLU of Maine is also prepared to defend Hickox's civil rights.
FORT KENT, Maine - The most scrutinized nurse in America, Kaci Hickox, went for a bike ride this morning and, in the process, violated Maine state Ebola protocols for home quarantine. Since she returned to Fort Kent earlier this week, Hickox has been under watchful eye - from both the state police and media. Patty Wight has the latest on the nurse who recently treated Ebola patients in West Africa.
FORT KENT, Maine - Maine Gov. Paul LePage says that negotiations with nurse Kaci Hickox have broken down and that he is ready to exercise the "full extent'' of his authority to protect the public.
LePage said Thursday that the state was willing to agree to arrangements that would have allowed Hickox to go for walks, runs and bicycle rides while preventing her from going into public places or coming within 3 feet of others.
Maine Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew told reporters at a briefing Wednesday that the state will seek a court order to quarantine Kaci Hickox if she refuses to self-quarantine, as she has stated she will do. Mayhew says even though Hickox does not have any symptoms, such as a fever or nausea, she is still a public health risk until the 21-day incubation period is over.
"This individual has come out and announced that she no longer intends to voluntarily comply," Mayhew said. "We, out of an abundance of caution, need to be prepared to enforce this protocol."