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Nurse in Maine defies quarantine, may take case to court

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Zach McAuliffe
Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

Kaci Hickox has defied her home quarantine Thursday morning by going for a bike ride, and she has said she might take her case to court if her quarantine is not lifted.

“I truly believe this policy is not scientifically nor constitutionally just, and so I am not going to sit around and be bullied around by politicians and be forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public,” Hickox said from her home in Maine on Today, according to the Raw Story.

Hickox was in West Africa recently to help treat Ebola patients.  After testing negative for the virus upon her return from West Africa, Hickox was released from quarantine in New Jersey but placed back in quarantine upon her return to her home in Maine.  She has been fighting her quarantine since her return and told reporters, according to NBC News, “I hope that we can continue negotiations and work this out amicably… There is no legal action against me, so I’m free to go on a bike ride in my hometown.”

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It is not clear how the state of Maine will respond to Hickox’s ride just yet.  According to the New York Times, state officials said they might consider a court order to enforce the quarantine if Hickox left her home.

Gov. Paul LePage (R-Maine), said Wednesday, “While we certainly respect the rights of one individual, we must be vigilant in protecting 1.3 million Mainers, as well as anyone who visits our great state.”

Mary Mayhew, the Maine Health Commissioner, has said, according to CNN, she does not trust the information she has received concerning Hickox’s health status, saying the information lacks “reliability” and “trustworthiness.”

Mayhew also does not understand why Hickox is challenging the quarantine.  “(This is) a reasonable request to ensure — out of an abundance of caution — that we are protecting the people of this state,” said Mayhew.  

Hickox will continue to fight the quarantine though, saying she believes she has science, as well as the US Constitution, on her side.

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