FORT KENT, Maine (CBSNewYork/AP) — A nurse who was confined against her will at a New Jersey hospital after returning from Sierra Leone, where she treated Ebola patients, said she plans to voluntarily end her quarantine in Maine and even stepped outside her home Wednesday night.
Kaci Hickox said Wednesday that she’s prepared to go to court if the state of Maine tries to quarantine her.
Hickox spoke to reporters outside her house. She emphasized that she does not believe there is any legitimate reason for her to be quarantined in her house.
“I’m not willing to stand here and let my civil rights be violated when it’s not science-based,” she said.
She said she is self-monitoring, and is willing to meet in the middle.
“I understand that we can meet in the middle in many ways, and maybe travel restrictions is one of those ways to meet in the middle,” she said. “In my negotiations, that is one of the things I was willing to consider – that I would only travel in my private car. I wouldn’t take any public transport, and I wouldn’t leave the area around Fort Kent, Maine.”
Hickox’s words and actions signaled a potential showdown with state police monitoring her home and state officials seeking to legally enforce the quarantine. Police stood across the street and watched as Hickox held an impromptu press conference outside with her boyfriend.
State officials are seeking a court order allowing state troopers to detain Hickox, said Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew.
Hickox earlier spoke to the “Today” show and “Good Morning America” from Fort Kent, Maine. She said she had no contact with anyone Tuesday and will have no human contact again Wednesday.
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But Hickox says if the restrictions aren’t lifted by Thursday, she will go to court to fight for her freedom.
“I don’t plan on sticking to the guidelines,” Hickox said on the “Today” show. “I remain appalled by these home quarantine policies that have been forced upon me even though I am in perfectly good health.”
Hickox, who volunteered in Africa with Doctors Without Borders, was released from University Hospital in Newark on Monday.
She was the first person forced into New Jersey’s mandatory quarantine for people arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport from the three West African countries hit hardest by the disease.