New Jersey Mandatory Quarantine and Screening Protocols
SUBJECT: New Jersey Mandatory Quarantine and Screening Protocols
On October 22, 2014, pursuant to Executive Order No.164 (2014), Governor Chris Christie created an Ebola Virus Disease Joint Response Team (EVD-JRT) to coordinate the efforts needed to appropriately prepare for and respond to the Ebola Virus Disease public health hazard. The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) and its state, local, and federal health care and public health partners are taking a comprehensive approach in responding to Ebola through coordinated steps to prevent potential exposure, ensure the health care system’s preparedness, and provide community education.
This memo is intended to provide guidance to our partners by formally documenting the quarantining and screening protocols previously implemented in New Jersey pursuant to statutory authority to “maintain and enforce proper and sufficient quarantine, wherever deemed necessary.”
I. Christie Administration Staffing at Newark Liberty International Airport
As Governor Christie indicated on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 in a public briefing on Ebola preparedness, the following New Jersey State officials have been and will continue to be deployed at Newark Liberty International Airport.
These officials are there to supplement Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staffing in order to provide real-time information and decision-making.
II. Protocols For Passengers Traveling From Ebola Affected Country Exhibiting Symptoms During Flight
If a passenger exhibits symptoms during a connecting flight to Newark Liberty International Airport, originating from one of the three West African nations that have been identified with widespread transmission of Ebola (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone), CDC notifies NJDOH. Following this notification:
III. Protocols For Passengers Traveling From Ebola Affected Country Exhibiting Fever During Non-Contact Fever Check
If a passenger arrives in Newark Liberty International Airport from a flight originating from one of the three West African nations that have been identified with widespread transmission of Ebola (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone), a non-contact fever check is conducted by the U.S Coast Guard. If the passenger exhibits a temperature, CDC notices NJDOH. Following this notification:
IV. Protocols For Passenger Traveling From Ebola Affected Country Exhibiting No Fever During Non-Contact Fever Check
If a passenger arrives in Newark Liberty International Airport from a flight originating from one of the three West African nations that have been identified with widespread transmission of Ebola (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone), they are evaluated for symptoms and a non-contact fever check is conducted.
All passengers who exhibit no fever at the non-contact fever check must still complete a traveler declaration form providing all pertinent contact information, an Ebola Virus Risk questionnaire and an interview. The passenger’s risk is then determined by evaluating travel history and potential exposure. This assessment includes a determination of credibility or lack of credibility based on the consistency, responsiveness, and accuracy of the documentation and interview questions as factors in the evaluation of risk.
A. Low Risk:
If the individual traveled to one of the three affected West African nations, but had no known exposure to anyone with the Ebola Virus, the individual is considered Low Risk and the following actions will be taken:
If the passenger is determined to have had some risk following the questionnaire and oral interview, the passenger completes a more detailed exposure and risk assessment. Following the more detailed exposure and risk assessment, the passenger is moved into one of two other risk categories:
B. Some Risk:
If the individual traveled to one of the three affected West African nations, and for example, was a health care worker who treated an Ebola patient with active symptoms while wearing PPE, the individual is considered to have Some Risk and the following actions will be taken in such a case:
C. High Risk:
If the individual traveled to one of the three affected West African nations and had direct contact with the body fluids of an individual with the Ebola Virus, he/she is considered to have High Risk and the following actions will be taken:
All other scenarios will be addressed on a case-by-case basis for possible mandatory quarantine, with the following additional measures as appropriate:
V. Housing and Transportation For Residents and Non-Residents Subject to a Mandatory Quarantine Order
As the EVD-JRT announced on Wednesday, October 22, 2014, New Jersey will make every reasonable effort to ensure New Jersey residents subject to a mandatory quarantine order are able to do so in their home. This policy was first explained by EVD-JRT member DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez on October 22nd: “Travelers who are New Jersey residents will quarantine in their own homes.”
Governor Christie reiterated this on Friday, October 24th at a joint briefing with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo: “We will make those judgments and the Department of Health will make those judgments where need be, what the most appropriate location for that is, if the person is not a resident of our state already. Obviously if they’re already a resident of New Jersey then they can quarantine in their own homes under a quarantine order.”
As members of the EVD-JRT, I understand you will be implementing these protocols through your own efforts and internal guidelines. As previously stipulated at our briefing on Wednesday, October 22nd, OHSP will be taking the lead on coordinating these efforts.
James R. Gonzalez, President & CEO
Stephen K. Jones, FACHE, President & CEO
Elizabeth Ryan, President & CEO
John Degnan, Chairman