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Connecticut Details Ebola Quarantine Policies

State of Connecticut

Connecticut officials are joining counterparts in other states in defending and detailing quarantine powers they've enacted as a precaution against Ebola.

Governor Dannel Malloy and state Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen announced Monday that all people coming to Connecticut after traveling to Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea in West Africa will at least face 21 days of mandatory monitoring involving state health officials contacting them daily.

Credit WHO
The latest information from the World Health Organization shows the activity of Ebola in West Africa.
"With the news of a recent traveler with Ebola in New York, it is critical that we look at each case on an individual basis."
Gov. Dannel Malloy

A state website at ct.gov/ebola provides facts and additional information about the policies in place.

Malloy and Mullen said anyone deemed to have been potentially exposed to Ebola will be quarantined for 21 days. Malloy authorized quarantines earlier this month. 

From the state's website:

In order to be considered to possibly have Ebola, a person must have: Recently traveled to Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone Or been in contact with a person who is sick with Ebola and Become sick with symptoms suggestive of Ebola Early symptoms of Ebola include: Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher Headache Stomach pain Muscle pain Vomiting Diarrhea Unexplained bleeding or bruising

Under the guidelines, Malloy said a person held under quarantine is not considered sick, but is kept away from other people to contain the spread of an infectious disease.  

“We have taken this situation very seriously for months,” said Malloy. “With the news of a recent traveler with Ebola in neighboring New York, it is critical that we look at each case on an individual basis. The protocols outlined here will ensure that we have the ability to take preventative action that will protect public health, utilizing the best information we have and the expertise of our public health officials. [The Department of Public Health] will continue to err on the side of caution in each and every circumstance.”

Credit State of Connecticut
State of Connecticut
Dr. Jewel Mullen, state public health commissioner.

Mullen said, “Once the traveler has arrived in Connecticut, they are interviewed by local health department staff or by an epidemiologist from the Connecticut DPH. Detailed information is obtained by these public health officials about the person’s travel and whether they potentially could have been exposed to Ebola. Epidemiological experts at DPH assess this information, including the quality of the information collected. We then discuss, and decide on the appropriate steps to protect the public’s health — erring always on the side of caution.”

The announcement came amid questions about the state's quarantine powers by civil liberties advocates and local officials. There are eight people in Connecticut under quarantine, all without any symptoms. A ninth person in Darien was removed from quarantine Monday after a review of additional information related to travel activities.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.

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