The Cuomo administration yesterday offered the first detailed account of New York’s quarantine order for healthcare workers returning from West Africa– strict guidelines that go beyond federal recommendations, requiring that returning workers automatically are isolated and quarantined in their homes or in a location of their choosing, reported The New York Times.
All of this is before the patient has been diagnosed.
The New England Journal of Medicine, in an editorial published on its website, said the approach taken by New Jersey, New York and several other states “is not scientifically based, is unfair and unwise.” The Obama administration also believes it’s over the top and that these stricter guidelines will only discourage voluntarism in those countries, which is needed now more than ever right now.
On Tuesday, President Obama said it was important that decisions be made based on science, not fear, and that New York and other states should follow a national protocol.
NY and NJ outlining their own quarantine guidelines sets a dangerous precedent for other states: A fractured response across the country could serve to further complicate or compromise a national response effort should it ever occur.
But with New York City serving as the biggest international travel hub in the world and with a population of 8.5 million people in a relatively small amount of space, should New York City be allowed to have its own unique guidelines for safety?