A mandatory 21-day quarantine imposed by New York and New Jersey on health care workers returning from West Africa after treating Ebola patients caught local and federal officials by surprise and spurred a heated debate on handling the spread of the virus.
The policy of isolating medical personnel and others arriving from Ebola-affected countries zones was abruptly implemented Friday by the governors of New York and New Jersey, Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie. The announcement came one day after a New York doctor who treated patients in Guinea became the first Ebola case diagnosed in the city and the fourth in the United States.
The mandate came as a surprise to the federal Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention in Atlanta, according to a federal official familiar with the situation.
"They're not happy," the official said of the CDC. "These two governors said, 'Take this, federal government.' They're very worried we won't be able to get physicians or nurses to go (to countries affected by the Ebola outbreak)."