The cleared nurse will be held in quarantine for 21 days under a strict new policy formulated by New Jersey and New York officials
A nurse who worked with Ebola patients in West Africa has tested negative for the virus after she was quarantined Friday upon arriving in Newark, New Jersey under a controversial new order by the governors of that state and New York.
The nurse had no symptoms when she landed, but developed a fever while quarantined at Newark International Airport, reports the New York Times. She will undergo additional tests to confirm that she is in fact cleared of Ebola.
Under a new policy announced late Friday afternoon by Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, anyone who had direct contact with Ebola patients in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and enters the country through Newark Liberty and Kennedy International Airport must be quarantined for 21 days.
The new measures go beyond federal guidelines and what infectious disease experts recommend. They were formulated without consulting New York’s health department.
“We are no longer relying on [Centers of Disease Control and Prevention] standards,” said Gov. Christie.
Health experts say that the travel bans on flights from West Africa proposed by several Republicans in Congress, as well as the new mandatory quarantines in New York and New Jersey, are likely to discourage badly needed healthcare workers from traveling to the area to help contain Ebola.
Dr. Rick Sacra, who contracted Ebola in Liberia and was flown back to the United States, told the Times the mandatory quarantines ““will effectively double the burden on those people, on the loss of productive time.”
The mandatory quarantines were implemented after Dr. Craig Spencer contracted Ebola in Guinea and was hospitalized Thursday after showing symptoms of the virus.