A nurse who had been treating Ebola patients in West Africa and was quarantined in New Jersey since Friday was given permission to go back to her home state of Maine on Monday.
Kaci Hickox will travel on a private aircraft — not commercial, according to a statement from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s office. She would remain in quarantine while in New Jersey, and Maine health authorities can make their own determination on how to treat her, his office said.
Hickox was the first medical worker to undergo New Jersey’s mandatory quarantine for those who treated Ebola patients in West Africa.
She refuted Christie’s assessment of her condition, telling CNN by telephone, “I am not, as he said, ‘obviously ill.’ I am completely healthy and with no symptoms.”
She had been staying in a tent set up inside a Newark hospital with a portable toilet but no shower. Meals were brought to her by people dressed in full protective gear.
New Jersey’s Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo both ordered quarantines for people returning from West Africa, after a doctor, Craig Spencer, was diagnosed with Ebola in New York but had traveled on the subway and went bowling before his diagnosis.
Under pressure from the White House and medical officials against a mandatory quarantine, Cuomo said health workers who had contact with Ebola patients but were exhibiting no symptoms could remain at home.
Meanwhile, a 5-year-old boy who returned to New York from the West African country of Guinea, where the Ebola outbreak began, is being monitored for Ebola at Bellevue Hospital Center after he developed a fever.
The family had recently returned from Guinea were immediately ordered quarantined in their apartment, city officials said.