TRENTON, N.J. — Gov. Chris Christie’s administration has agreed to put new rules in place for quarantines after a woman was held in 2014 because she had contact with, attorneys announced Thursday.
She was stopped when she arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport and questioned before being quarantined. She tested negative for Ebola and was later allowed to return home to Maine.
Hickox brought civil rights charges against the Christie administration that were dismissed, but she was allowed to move forward with other parts of her lawsuit alleging false imprisonment and invasion of privacy.
The settlement in the case recognizes the right of a quarantined person to retain counsel and consult with a lawyer, challenge the quarantine, have a hearing, send and receive communications, have visitors, present evidence and cross-examine witnesses, the ACLU said.
“We’ve achieved what was needed: procedures that will ensure that no one will have to go through what I experienced in New Jersey, and that no one will be quarantined unless it is medically necessary to do so,” Hickox said in a news release. “The settlement upholds the principles and values of liberty and due process.”
Under the agreement, quarantine or isolation will only be imposed when medically and epidemiologically necessary to prevent the spread of Ebola, according to the ACLU. When quarantines are instituted, they must be in the less restrictive means possible, and after other less restrictive measures have been explored.
A comprehensive order with medical information, and which includes information about rights, must also be issued under the settlement, the ACLU said.
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