(Reuters) – Illinois has ordered mandatory 21-day quarantines for all “high-risk” people who have had direct contact with Ebola patients while in Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone, the three West African nations most affected by the outbreak.
The order, to be implemented by local health authorities, includes all medical personnel who treated patients with the often-deadly disease in those three countries. Previously such high-risk individuals were subject to voluntary isolation.
Governor Pat Quinn issued the directive in a statement dated Friday after New York governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey governor Chris Christie made the same rule for travelers landing at New York City-area airports. The rule exceeds federal guidelines.
Five U.S. airports are designated for passengers returning from the West African countries, including O’Hare in Chicago, Illinois, John F. Kennedy in New York, and Newark Liberty in New Jersey. The others are Hart in Atlanta, Georgia, and Washington Dulles in Virginia.
(Reporting by Frank McGurty in New York; Editing by Louise Ireland)