If you've been to West Africa and had contact with a confirmed Ebola patient, you're probably in for 21 days of confinement under a new California Department of Public Health mandate.
Yeah, the Golden State is the latest in the union to jump on the bandwagon of implementing Ebola-containment policies following criticism of the federal government's perceived missteps in Texas, where America's first Ebola patient died earlier this month.
State Health Officer Ron Chapman says the policy will be “flexible” and that local health officials will be able to take a “case-by-case approach” to Ebola scares.
Ebola-scare quarantines instituted by the likes of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have drawn criticism from folks wondering if it's legal or constitutional to virtually imprison someone suspected of having the often-deadly disease.
A Maine nurse who had treated Ebola patients in West Africa has indicated she might defy state quarantine orders.
In New Jersey, Republican Christie has been accused of playing politics. His party has made an issue of the Obama administration's Ebola response.
California is a decidedly Obama-friendly state, though. Chapman says this is about ensuring that local health authorities have the leeway to make the tough calls:
Not everyone who has been to an Ebola affected area should be considered high risk. This order will allow local health officers to determine, for those coming into California, who is most at risk for developing this disease, and to contain any potential spread of infectious disease by responding to those risks appropriately.
The language of Chapman's order says you should only fear this medical imprisonment if you have both “traveled to California from an Ebola virus infected area” and “had contact with any individual with a confirmed case of Ebola virus disease.”
Nothing to worry about, right?