According to the Northern Maine Medical Center, the now-famous nurse who recently treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone has agreed to self-quarantine in Maine for 21 days, but her location is being kept secret.
Local and national media staked out the home in Fort Kent, Maine, that nurse Kaci Hickox shares with her boyfriend, but the couple never arrived. Nonetheless, some locals were anxious about Hickox's return and whether she would abide by the quarantine restrictions.
"A small town like this, I never thought we would see someone with Ebola showing up in Fort Kent," Gloria Ouelette said.
"People are concerned, wondering if she'll come to the grocery store," Hernelle Pelletier said, holding her own grocery bags.
In fact, there is no Ebola in Fort Kent, only the fear that Hickox might be infected, not know it, and not abide by a quarantine. Their fear is, at least in part, driven by conflicting information. Hickox's attorney, Steven Lyman, told one news agency that she is not in quarantine, merely resting in private. The Maine CDC is refusing to say what her status is or where she is.
Still, the chances of an Ebola outbreak in Maine are extremely slim. According to doctors at NMMC, Hickox is being monitored and shows no symptoms of the disease. They worked to reassure the public that they were not at risk.
"There is no need to panic," said Dr Michael Sullivan, the hospital's Chief Medical Officer. "This is a scary disease, but with the right precautions, this is an easy disease to contain."
Students at the University of Maine Fort Kent had their own concerns.
Hickox's boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, is a student there and word had gotten out that he planned to live with her while she remained in quarantine. But the university said Wilbur told them Tuesday that he plans to take his courses on-line until the 21 day quarantine period is over.
"We haven't mandated this. He had done it of his own free will," said UMFK spokesman Ray Phinney.