Hawaii to handle Ebola quarantine decisions on case-by-case basi - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii to handle Ebola quarantine decisions on case-by-case basis

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii will not impose mandatory quarantines for returning healthcare workers who have treated Ebola patients in West Africa.

Some other states have already adopted the new restrictions. Hawaii Department of Health officials said that they will be notified by the Centers for Disease Control if someone who has traveled to Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone within the 21-day incubation period arrives in Hawaii. Experts will then monitor the person on a case-by-case basis, depending on their risk exposure.

"Once we know about you and we assess your risk, we may impose some restrictions on your movement. We may not say you're quarantined to your house, but we may ask you to do certain things or to not do certain things," explained Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist.

"I know this is a very, very frightening disease and I think the public needs to be reassured that the Department of Health takes protecting their health very, very seriously," said Dr. Linda Rosen, director of the Hawaii Department of Health.

A team of experts worked on new state guidelines for protective gear on Tuesday afternoon. Protocols for handling the movement of patients with suspected Ebola cases will be released on Wednesday at a legislative briefing.

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