Morgan Dixon, 30, the fiancée of Craig Spencer, the first confirmed Ebola patient in New York City, was to return to the couple’s apartment but remain under quarantine Saturday, the Wall Street Journal reported. Spencer, a New York doctor who was treating Ebola patients in West Africa, tested positive for Ebola after developing a fever Thursday.
Spencer checked into Bellevue Hospital and Dixon, a grant writer, has been at the hospital since Thursday. Two of Spencer’s friends were also under quarantine, the Journal reported.
Three close contacts of Dr. Spencer who were quarantined are not showing any Ebola symptoms, Mayor de Blasio says.
— Matt Flegenheimer (@mattfleg) October 25, 2014
The New York City Department of Health also released a complete timeline of Spencer’s movement Oct. 14, when he left Guinea. Spencer arrived in New York Oct. 17 and made several trips across the city after reporting feeling fatigue Sunday. Spencer was hospitalized Thursday at Bellevue.
New York City, its health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been praised for their quick and comprehensive response to the first confirmed Ebola case in the city. Health Commissioner Mary Travis Bassett has spearheaded the city’s response and has been working with Mayor Bill de Blasio. Despite some reports of medical personnel calling in sick to Bellevue, de Blasio and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. have reported no irregular absences.
Thank you to the staff at Bellevue Hospital for their commitment and professionalism. Contrary to media hype, the hospital is fully staffed.
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) October 25, 2014
Another possible Ebola case, Kaci Hickox, a Doctors Without Borders nurse, who was quarantined in Newark, tested negative for the virus. Hickox was in Sierra Lone working with Ebola patients and arrived at Newark Airport Friday. As part of the new airport screening procedures announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, “high risk” travelers could face mandatory quarantine and Hickox was the first person to meet that level.
The nurse from Texas wrote an essay published in the Dallas Morning News detailing her quarantine. “I have been quarantined in New Jersey. This is not a situation I would wish on anyone, and I am scared for those who will follow me. I am scared about how health care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting Ebola in West Africa. I am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear and, most frightening, quarantine,” Hickox said.
In addition to Hickox’s criticism, de Blasio said he was not told ahead of the press conference and voiced some concern regarding the policy’s effect on potential volunteers, Cuomo defended the new procedures while campaigning in Westchester, the Journal said. “What should give one a sense of security is government is being protective,” Cuomo said.