Nurse Kaci Hickox and the state of the Maine reached an agreement Monday that will allow her to avoid mandatory Ebola quarantine until the end of the virus’ 21-day incubation period. Hickox will coordinate her movements with health officials, monitor her own condition and report any symptoms through Nov. 10, reports said.
“We just found common ground with the state of Maine,” Hickox’s lawyer, Norman Siegel, told ABC News. “You can find it, you just have to work hard and listen even if you disagree with them."
Maine District Court Chief Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere ruled Friday that state authorities did not adequately prove that isolating Hickox, who has twice tested negative for Ebola, was necessary to ensure public safety. Instead, LaVerdiere issued a temporary order for Hickox to self-monitor her health and coordinate movements with public health officials.
A hearing scheduled Tuesday to confirm the order was canceled after Hickox agreed to abide by LaVerdiere’s terms. “I am humbled today by the judge’s decision and even more humbled by the support that we have received by the town of Fort Kent, the state of Maine, across the United States and even across the border,” Hickox told reporters. Fort Kent is across the St. John River from Canada.
Hickox’s lawyer Steven Hyman announced last week that his client was asymptomatic and would not abide by the state’s full 21-day, in-home Ebola quarantine. At the time, Maine officials vowed to seek a court order that would force her to comply.
She lives in Fort Kent with boyfriend Ted Wilbur, a nursing student at the University of Maine. The school asked Wilbur to stay away from its Fort Kent campus until Nov. 10, CBS News reports. Ray Phinney, associate dean of student life, said the university is willing to discuss the arrangement.
A nurse for Doctors Without Borders, Hickox was detained on Oct. 24 at Newark Liberty International Airport upon her return from a stint treating Ebola patients in West Africa. Authorities ordered her into mandatory quarantine against her will at a New Jersey hospital after she allegedly presented a fever, but agreed to transport her to Maine after she remained symptom-free for 24 hours.