Judge: State Can’t Restrict Kaci Hickox from Public Places [UPDATE]
[UPDATE] A judge has rejected the State’s bid to restrict the movements of Kaci Hickox. The State had obtained a temporary court order, but a judge denied a portion of it today. Hickox, who worked in a hands-on capacity with Ebola patients in West Africa, has protested the state’s 21-day quarantine.
WCSH-TV reports the request for the order was filed on Thursday. The temporary order banned Hickox from public transportation and from public places like movie theaters or retail outlets. She was ordered to contact state health officials before leaving Fort Kent, where she lives with her boyfriend. It also stated that Hickox could leave her house for activities, like walking or biking, but had to remain at least three feet away from others. And she was also ordered to continue to submit to monitoring and visits by public health officials.
WABI reports that later on Friday, a judge refused to sign the portion of the order that would restrict her movements because he felt the state had not met its burden to prove that limiting her movements to the degree outlined in the temporary order was necessary to protect the health of others. She will still be required to participate in active monitoring of her health, notify health officials if she plans to leave Fort Kent, and report any symptoms.
Hickox has fought the 21-day quarantine that’s part of the State of Maine’s protocol for individuals who have been in direct contact with Ebola patients, calling it unconstitutional and unnecessary. The battle between the Fort Kent nurse and the State has been watched around the world. And the attention has caused a line of media vehicles to line up outside her home, along with a police trooper who is said to be there for her protection as well as the protection of others.
Those media vehicles and the trooper followed Hickox yesterday as she and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, hopped on their bicycles and took a ride, breaking the quarantine.