Judge issues order enforcing Ebola isolation of defiant Maine nurse

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 31, 2014 10:54 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The confrontation between the state of Maine and a nurse who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone heated up on Friday when a judge issued a temporary order enforcing a quarantine after she defied state officials and took a bike ride.

The order from Charles LaVerdiere, chief judge of the Maine District Court, instructs nurse Kaci Hickox to submit to "direct active monitoring," and "not to be present in public places" like shopping centers, movie theaters or workplaces except to receive necessary healthcare.

The temporary order permits her to engage in what the judge called "non-congregate public activities" like walking or jogging in the park but instructs her to maintain a 3-foot (1 meter) distance from other people.

The quarantine confrontation between Hickox and Maine has become the focal point of a struggle between several U.S. states opting for stringent measures to guard against Ebola and a federal government wary of discouraging potential medical volunteers to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

(Reporting by Will Dunham)