More than two weeks after being taken to Bellevue Hospital as the first Ebola patient in New York City, Dr. Craig Spencer is set to be released from the facility on Tuesday, the New York Times reported. Spencer’s case set forensic health experts on a frantic chase to hunt down where the doctor might have spread Ebola, including a Brooklyn bowling alley and the city subway system. Spencer was not found to have infected anyone else.
Spencer, 33, was with the group Doctors Without Borders when he contracted Ebola after treating virus patients in Guinea, one of three West African countries at the epicenter of the outbreak. He was in serious condition when he was first taken to Bellevue on Oct. 23 after reporting a 100.3-degree fever, but he was upgraded to stable condition on Nov. 1 and no longer has the virus, according to WABC. Spencer is expected to be home on Tuesday, although Bellevue did not publicly announce the decision, according to the Times, which cited “two people familiar with his treatment.”
Spencer’s case was the impetus for the quarantine plan imposed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. New Jersey’s plan was more controversial because it mandated that a Maine nurse, Kaci Hickox, had to stay in a New Jersey hospital for her quarantine because she lived outside the state. Christie later let Hickox return to Maine after the governor said she was cleared of Ebola.
Spencer lives in the Hamilton Heights section of New York City, but it was unclear whether he is heading home after being released. His fiancée, Morgan Dixon, is under quarantine in their apartment. Dixon’s quarantine is scheduled to end later this week, according to WABC.
The decision to release Spencer from Bellevue comes as his condition improved over the past few days. Hospital officials told the Associated Press that the doctor was playing with his banjo in his room in isolation at Bellevue.