Scrambling continues over Ebola rules

Federal health officials are attempting to bring clarity to an at times confusing patchwork of protocols across the country about when it's appropriate to quarantine travelers returning from the Ebola hot zone in West Africa.

As CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan reports, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines Monday, classifying the travelers into four different risk categories.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told reporters, "Not everybody is at the same risk, so [the new guidelines] stratify the risk."

The guidelines classified travelers from West Africa into four different risk categories.

"High, some, low but not zero and no identifiable risk. And then they match the risk to the kind of restriction," Fauci said.

Health care workers who treated Ebola patients using personal protective equipment pose some risk, while those who came into direct contact with patients' body fluids will be considered high risk and monitored directly by public health officials for signs of infection. Their movements in public will also be restricted, but a quarantine isn't automatic.

"Is this person reliable to adhere to the restrictions of not traveling in certain types of medium, of not going into crowded areas?" Fauci said. "If there is a determination that that person wouldn't do it, technically you could put a restriction on that person."

Meanwhile, nurse Kaci Hickox, whose quarantine in New Jersey sparked widespread criticism, was released Monday and whisked away to Maine. She had come back from Sierra Leone.

Gov. Chris Christie's decision to release her came after the Obama administration exerted pressure on officials in his state over how Hickox was being treated.

And the White House and medical community weighed in to get New York to ease its own new quarantine rules, reports CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante.

Christie took a break Monday from campaigning in Florida with Gov. Rick Scott, who's in a close race for re-election, to say he will not apologize to Hickox for quarantining her.

In a YouTube video, Christie is seen answering reporters' questions, insisting, "I didn't reverse any decision, why are you saying I reversed a decision?"

Christie said,"I have no reason to talk to her. My job is not to represent her, it's to represent the people of New Jersey. ... She needs to understand that the obligation of elected officials is to protect the public health of all the people, and if that inconvenienced her for a period of time, that's what we need to do to protect the public, that's what we will continue to do."

New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said officials need to be smarter. "What happened with nurse Hickox was unacceptable and was unfair to her and disrespectful to a hero," he said. "That was not the smart way to do it."

At the White House, Press Secretary Josh Earnest conceded that states have the authority to make their own laws, but said New Jersey's mandatory quarantine sent the wrong message.

"Somebody like Kaci Hickox, who is making a commitment to volunteer her time and travel to West Africa and work intensively and closely with highly contagious Ebola patients is service that is deserving of praise and respect, and having her sit in a tent for two or three days doesn't exactly do that," Earnest said. Hickox was confined to a tent during her quarantine. She objected fiercely to being held.

CDC Director Tom Frieden says the new federal protocols aim to reduce the need for governors to act on their own.

"State health departments generally do follow CDC guidelines. If they wish to be more stringent than what CDC recommends, that's within their authority in the system of government that we have," Frieden said.

The White House is cautious to avoid getting into a fight with prominent governors over how they're protecting their states' citizens from Ebola, but administration officials are pointing to the new guidance as sufficient protection to ensure the disease doesn't spread as more health workers and travelers return from the infected region.