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Paul LePage

Ebola outbreak tests states' quarantine powers

Ebola outbreak tests states' quarantine powers

Maryland law enables state Health Secretary Joshua Sharfstein to order sheriffs or police to enforce a policy requiring monitoring and possible quarantine of those at risk of bringing the Ebola virus into the state.

But the law also allows for appeals to such quarantines. And as other states face legal challenges to similar measures, questions are rising over whether they conflict with constitutional liberties.

All states are given broad "police" powers that authorize quarantines amid public health threats, and the law provides the ability to enforce any public health orders.

In Maryland, failure to comply with a quarantine warrants a penalty of up to one...