New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced late Sunday that he had loosened some of the restrictions in a mandatory 21-day Ebola quarantine that he had ordered along with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie this past Friday.
Under the revised guidelines, medical professionals who have had contact with Ebola patients will be quarantined at home and receive twice-daily monitoring if they have no symptoms. Family members will be allowed to stay, and friends may visit with the approval of health officials. The state will also pay for any lost compensation, if they are not paid by a volunteer organization.
The new guidelines come after White House officials and health experts strongly criticized the mandatory quarantine, which was put in place in response to the infection of a New York City doctor, Craig Spencer. Cuomo had originally criticized Dr. Spencer for not obeying a 21-day voluntary quarantine. But on Sunday, he called the health care workers “heroes” and said his administration would encourage more medical workers to volunteer to fight Ebola.
The mandatory quarantine came in for more criticism after a Maine nurse returning from Sierra Leone criticized her treatment as the first person to be quarantined under New Jersey’s new policy, saying that she was treated “like a criminal.” Kaci Hickox has tested negative for Ebola in a preliminary evaluation.