Ebola nurse Kaci Hickox, boyfriend plan to leave Maine town

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(CNN) — Nurse Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend are planning to travel to southern Maine from Fort Kent, Maine, after her 21-day monitoring period ends this week.

Hickox, who recently returned to the United States after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, defied a quarantine in a tense standoff with state authorities.

A judge eventually ruled in her favor, saying that local health officials failed to prove the need for a stricter order enforcing an Ebola quarantine and ordered Hickox to submit to “direct active monitoring,” coordinate travel with public health officials and immediately notify health authorities should symptoms appear.

Maine authorities had wanted Hickox to stay home for the remainder of a 21-day period — the incubation time for the deadly virus — following her return to the United States, although she has tested negative for the disease and has shown no symptoms.

Hickox did not say exactly where she and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, were headed. She also did not indicate exactly when they would travel. Monday is the final day of her 21-day monitoring period.

“We are going to southern Maine and will decide what’s next from there,” she told CNN on Sunday.

They were only in Fort Kent because Wilbur was in school there, Hickox said. He has since withdrawn.

Wilbur previously told reporters he was upset that his school would not allow him to return to classes for a period of time.

A spokesman for the University of Maine system said officials were working to address Wilbur’s concerns and “regret that he characterizes our efforts to accommodate him as being insufficient.”

“Officials at the University of Maine have put forth a tremendous amount of work to educate people about the threats of Ebola, but we still had concerns about safety and security and we were working with law enforcement and health officials and unfortunately we weren’t able to accommodate Ted in a manner he was satisfied with,” said Dan Demeritt.

Hickox first made news when she returned from a month working with Doctors Without Borders. Hickox had an elevated temperature at an airport in Newark, New Jersey, officials said. She was put into an isolation tent.

She blasted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for enforcing a new policy that required anyone showing symptoms of Ebola, including an elevated temperature, to be isolated.

“The biggest reason that I fought is because I, you know, felt so much fear and confusion, and I imagined what my fellow aid workers were going to feel if they came back to this same situation — and the more I thought about the fact that these policies are being made by politicians, really not the experts in the field — the more I felt like I had no choice but to fight back,” Hickox told CNN last week.

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