Published On: Thu, Oct 30th, 2014

Maine nurse Kaci Hickox defies Ebola quarantine, goes for a bike ride

Nurse Kaci Hickox has followed through on her promise (some are calling it a “threat”) to defy Maine’s quarantine for health care workers, who treated Ebola patients, by leaving her home on a bicycle.

Hickox, who said she was completely asymptomatic, argued there was no need for a quarantine.

On Thursday morning, she set off from her home on a bicycle with her boyfriend. State police, who had been ordered to monitor the couple’s interactions with other people, followed behind but did not react.

Without a court order from a judge, police did not have the power to detain her.

On Wednesday, Hickox told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that she was prepared to outright reject the state’s attempt to keep her isolated, despite the requests from officials who fear that allowing the woman out of her Fort Kent, ME residence could lead to an Ebola outbreak.

“I will go to court to attain my freedom,” Hickox told the television network during an interview via Skype.

Ebola virus  Image/CDC

Ebola virus Image/CDC

“I don’t plan on sticking to the guidelines,” she added that same morning during an interview with NBC’s ‘Today’ show. ‘I remain appalled by these home quarantine policies that have been forced upon me even though I am in perfectly good health.”

Hickox had volunteered in Sierra Leone with Doctors Without Borders. She was the first person to undergo mandatory quarantine after arriving at Newark airport. She spent the weekend in a tent in New Jersey before returning to her Maine home.

‘‘I’m not willing to stand here and let my civil rights be violated when it’s not science-based,’’ she told reporters Wednesday evening.

In response, Maine Governor Paul LePage said Wednesday that state health officials are seeking “legal authority to enforce the quarantine,” the New York Times reported.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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