State, Hickox Reach Agreement on Ebola Order
FORT KENT, Maine - The Maine Department of Health and Human Services and nurse Kaci Hickox of Fort Kent have agreed to forego a hearing on a temporary order that was issued by Chief District Court Judge Charles LeVerdiere.
On Friday, the judge declined a request by the state to require Hickox to refrain from going out in public because she had previously treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. The judge said the state failed to prove that Hickox posed a public health threat because she is currently asymptomatic and not at risk of transmitting the disease.
He did ask Hickox to continue self monitoring and to coordinate any travel with public health authorities. His order was to take effect until a hearing could be held tomorrow. But today both parties agreed to let the order stand. Alison Beyea of the ACLU of Maine is gratified with the development.
"We are very glad that the court rejected the state's attempts to force Ms. Hickox into custody," Beyea says. "We really believe that that ruling today is a great reminder that those extreme restrictions were never justified, just as we have been saying last week and just as the medical experts have been saying last week."
The court order will lapse on Nov. 10 at noon, when Hickox's 21-day incubation period is officially over.