Kaci Hickox, the Progressive CDC nurse who is fighting quarantine efforts after returning to the United States from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, is spreading panic and fear in her hometown of Fort Kent, Maine.
TODAY interviewed Hickox on Wednesday morning.
Hickox told Matt Lauer she won’t obey the quarantine.
“I don’t plan on sticking to the guidelines. I remain appalled by these home quarantine policies that have been forced upon me.”
Hickox is not believed to be in Fort Kent, but her location is being kept secret. A reporter for the New York Times tweeted a photo Tuesday of Hickox “resting in Maine.”
Kaci Hickox's boyfriend says she's resting in Maine: "finally a bit of well deserved rest after such a long ordeal." pic.twitter.com/CZeg8hd7rk
— Emma G. Fitzsimmons (@emmagf) October 28, 2014
An attorney for Kaci Hickox said she will not comply with Maine’s requirements to remain under quarantine for 21 days.
Local news reports say Hickox is the talk of the small town by ‘scared’ locals. Fort Kent residents are canceling medical procedures out of fear of Hickox returning to Fort Kent after being released from quarantine in New Jersey. Students at the college of her nursing student boyfriend Ted Wilbur, the University of Maine at Fort Kent, were said to be ‘panicked’ that the boyfriend would return to campus after spending time with Hickox–with some students talking a boycott.
“People are canceling X-rays and other elective procedures,” Peter Sirois, chief executive officer at Northern Maine Medical Center, said Tuesday afternoon after a press conference at the hospital attended by representatives of multiple local and national media outlets. “Those cancellations are totally inappropriate [because] Kaci Hickox was never here, and even if she had been, the public would be perfectly safe.””
“On Tuesday alone, Sirois said, more than 10 elective procedures had been canceled at the hospital by people concerned about Hickox’s anticipated presence in Fort Kent and possible Ebola exposure.”
“News of Hickox’s intended return was the talk of the town this week in Fort Kent, which has about 4,100 residents and sweeping vistas of rolling hills overlooking the St. John River valley and Canada on the far side.
“It seemed to be all people talked about from storefronts on Main Street to the Town Office across the street from the border bridge to Canada to a lunch spot on Market Street, which abuts a railroad lined with stacks of newly cut trees ready to be transported.”
…”“They’re just really nervous,” said Tammy Daigle behind the lunch counter at Stevie D’s Panini Plus. “I think they are having a hard time understanding why she wants to come up here for quarantine.”
…”“We don’t see any of that around here. Of all the places, it’s happening here,” Daigle said. “I hope (Hickox) understands we’re not against her, we’re just afraid. It’s scary.”
…”University officials learned Monday night that Wilbur would not return to campus until after the 21-day incubation period.”
…” Students at the university campus said Monday that some classmates were panicked by the possibility that Wilbur might return to campus after being in contact with Hickox, and some vowed to boycott classes if Wilbur did return.”
Hickox registered a fever of 101 degrees when tested at Newark Liberty International Airport last Friday, but Hickox blamed that on her hot temper over being detained. Two tests for Ebola were negative, but Maine health officials are concerned the tests were taken too soon for Hickox to develop antibodies that would be detected in the Ebola test.
Maine officials are demanding Hickox be quarantined for the 21 day Ebola incubation period. One of Hickox’s lawyers said Tuesday night she would not obey a quarantine and would only agree to self-isolate for two days