Although one nurse already under quarantine feels the measures are too restrictive in other parts of the country, Gov. Rick Scott has issued an executive order that could go as far as putting people under quarantine he feels is at high risk for Ebola.
At a minimum, however, Scott is ordering twice-daily health monitoring for people returning from certain parts of the world where the virus is in an outbreak, continuing over the 21-day incubation period of Ebola. That includes areas like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined to be high-risk.
“We have asked the CDC to identify the risk levels of all returning individuals from these areas, but they have not provided that information,” Scott said in a statement. “Therefore, we are moving quickly to require the four individuals who have returned to Florida already — and anyone in the future who will return to Florida from an Ebola area — to take pear in twice-daily 21-day health evaluations with DOH personnel.”
The Department of Health, according to the governor’s office, started to look for people returning to Florida from those areas after a doctor returned to New York and later tested positive for Ebola. While the executive order stops short of automatically ordering a quarantine of those returning from those areas, Scott said he’s giving the health department the authority to take that action for anyone they believe is “at high-risk of testing positive for Ebola due to the type of contact they had with the disease.”
Just four people have been diagnosed inside the United States with Ebola, two of them health workers in Texas who treated the first diagnosed case. Although there is a virus outbreak in parts of Africa, the ability to spread Ebola is still difficult, because it requires an infected person to show signs of the illness, like fever, and it requires direct contact with bodily fluids.