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Quinn orders mandatory quarantine for anyone who had contact with Ebola

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a measure Friday that orders the Illinois Department of Public Health to require a mandatory 21-day home quarantine for high-risk individuals who may have had direct contact with an individual infected with Ebola while in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea.

The mandatory quarantine will place all medical personnel who have performed medical services to individuals infected with the Ebola virus, according to a statement from the Governor’s office.

Illinois is now one of three states – the others being New York and New Jersey – to implement such a measure. Previously, high-risk individuals were subject to a voluntary quarantine in Illinois.

“This protective measure is too important to be voluntary,” Quinn said in the statement. “We must take every step necessary to ensure the people of Illinois are protected from potential exposure to the Ebola virus. While we have no confirmed cases of the Ebola virus in Illinois, we will continue to take every safeguard necessary to protect first responders, healthcare workers and the people of Illinois.”

O’Hare International was one of the five major airports recently selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to begin screening travelers from Ebola-affected nations.