A woman quarantined in New Jersey after recently treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested negative in a preliminary test for the virus, state health officials said early Saturday.
The New Jersey Department of Health said the woman remains in isolation at University Hospital in Newark on Saturday. She showed no symptoms of the virus when she arrived Friday, but had later developed a fever.
The woman became the first traveler quarantined under an Ebola watch in New Jersey and New York.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday a mandatory 21-day quarantine of medical workers and other airline passengers who have had contact with Ebola victims. It will be coordinated with local health departments.
The order came one day after Dr. Craig Spencer was diagnosed with Ebola, the first case in New York. The 33-year-old emergency room doctor returned to the U.S. on Oct. 17 after treating Ebola patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders.
Spencer sought treatment Thursday after suffering diarrhea and a 100.3-degree fever. He was listed in stable condition at a special isolation unit at Bellevue Hospital Center, and a decontamination company was sent to his Harlem home. His fiancee, who was not showing symptoms, was being watched in a quarantine ward at Bellevue.
Travelers at Newark Airport Friday night told CBS New York the new, stricter measures are necessary.
"I think it's a sensible thing to do," said passenger Dave Fairfax. "I mean, it's a big problem in Africa right now, and you know, we've seen already that it can spread to the U.S. We've had cases here. So I'm in favor of it personally."
"I think it's important to take it seriously," added traveler Kate O'Connor. "I don't know about mandatory stuff, that's kind of scary. But it s serious. I work in health care so I'm concerned."
The CDC is reviewing its policy for health care workers returning from West Africa, but anyone flying into a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey airport will need to abide by the new procedures.