During a Sunday night press conference, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and health officials discussed new travel protocols for people returning to the U.S. from West Africa.
“This is a war on a virus in West Africa,” Cuomo said, adding that New Yorkers are balancing aid to Africa, protecting health of New Yorkers and confronting fears of the virus.
Cuomo said healthcare workers who were exposed to Ebola patients will be asked to remain in their homes for a 21 day quarantine, during with their temperature and condition will be checked two times a day by visiting healthcare workers. Potential patients will be transported to a hospital if symptoms occur, Cuomo said.
Cuomo later called New York’s policy perhaps the safest in existence, and said that he didn’t anticipate patients violating a home quarantine.
Healthcare workers in West Africa who have not had contact with Ebola patients will be asked to stay home from work for three weeks, and Cuomo said if employers refuse to pay, the state will step in.
Cuomo and de Blasio stressed that Ebola is not airborne and not easily contracted.
De Blasio said he met with healthcare workers at Bellevue on Sunday who have “emotionally” and “personally affected” by “people reacting negatively” to them treating Ebola patients.
“We want to see all our medical personnel who are part of this fight treated with respect, dignity and support,” de Blasio said.