The nurse quarantined in New Jersey since her return to the United States after having contact with Ebola patients in West Africa intends to file a federal civil rights lawsuit, her attorney told Reuters on Sunday.
Kaci Hickox’s quarantine raised “serious constitutional and civil liberties issues” since he’s tested negative for Ebola and hasn’t exhibited symptoms, according to Norman Siegel, a well-known civil rights lawyer, Reuters reported.
“We’re not going to dispute that the government has, under certain circumstances, the right to issue a quarantine,” he added to Reuters. “The policy is overly broad when applied to her.”
Hickox has attracted a great deal of attention since penning a scathing account of what she characterized as poor treatment at Newark Liberty Airport on Friday. She also issued angry challenges to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over his policy to keep all medical workers quarantined for 21 days after their return from Ebola-ravaged countries. The Republican governor has defended his position.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had issued the same policy, and both Christie and Cuomo had resisted pressure from the Obama administration to reverse their policies.
But on Sunday night Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, announced new quarantine guidelines that allow medical workers who’ve had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa to stay at home for 21 days instead of at a medical facility, the Huffington Post reported. Cuomo said medical workers returning from West Africa who’ve had no contact with Ebola patients would be monitored at a less rigorous level, the Huffington Post added.
This story has been updated to reflect New York state’s revised guidelines regarding returning medical workers who’ve had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa.
(H/T: Weasel Zippers)