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New York Governor Scales Back State's Ebola Quarantine Mandate for Medical Workers


Cuomo said he received no pressure from the White House.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Image source: WPIX-TV)

Two days since joining New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in enacting a 21-day quarantine for all medical workers returning to the U.S. after having contact with Ebola patients in West Africa, New York Governor Mario Cuomo backed away partially from that stance Sunday night.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Image source: WPIX-TV) New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Image source: WPIX-TV)

Cuomo announced new guidelines that will allow medical workers to stay at home for 21 days rather than at a medical facility, the Huffington Post reported.

The health of those individuals will be monitored during the 21 days, and they can have visitors, the Huffington Post added. If they develop symptoms, Cuomo said, they will be transferred to a hospital.

The policy also applies to non-medical personnel returning from West Africa who had contact with Ebola patients, Cuomo added.

The New York Times reported Sunday that Cuomo and Christie had come under pressure from the Obama administration to reverse their policies for Ebola medical workers. But Cuomo said he received no pressure from the White House to reverse his quarantine mandate, the Huffington Post reported.

The Times' piece cited a senior administration official who said the initial 21-day quarantine mandate was “uncoordinated, very hurried” and “doesn’t comport with science.”

“The entire city was not informed, even the mayor’s office,” a New York City official involved in state’s Ebola response told the Times. “The mayor was caught unaware.” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was sitting next to Cuomo when he announced the new guidelines, the Huffington Post said.

Kaci Hickox, the Ebola nurse who was quarantined Friday under Christie's guidelines for New Jersey, 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 Christie over his policy to keep all medical workers quarantined for 21 days after their return from Ebola-ravaged countries. While Christie has defended his position, Hickox's attorney said Sunday that she plans to file a federal civil rights lawsuit over the matter.

As for medical workers returning from West Africa who weren't in contact with Ebola patients, they will be monitored at a less rigorous level, Cuomo added.

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