After apparent pressure from the White House, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo held a press conference to talk about quarantine measures for health professionals who have treated Ebola patients in West Africa. Cuomo essentially reversed his position on a mandatory 21-day quarantine—now he says the medical aid workers with no symptoms of Ebola can self-quarantine at home and will receive compensation for lost wages.

Mayor Bill de Blasio attended the press conference; he had previously criticized the mandatory quarantine, which was announced by Cuomo and NJ Governor Chris Christie on Friday. De Blasio had said of nurse Kaci Hickox, being held in a tent in Newark, "The problem here is this hero is coming back from the front, having done the right thing, was treated with disrespect was treated with a sense that she had done something wrong when she hadn't. We owe her better than that."

Further, many believed that strict quarantine measures for asymptomatic medical professionals would discourage health care workers from offering assistance in desperately needed missions. Cuomo insisted last night that the new approach was simply clarifying the earlier protocol. His office issued a press release (below) but here are some Tweets from political reporters:

The NY Times has these details on the back room maneuvers:

At their announcement, the two governors provided scant detail on how the quarantines would be put in place or enforced.

City officials, who were not consulted on the two governors’ decision, learned of it as the public did. A room-to-room scramble began at City Hall: Who, senior aides asked, had been briefed about this? The answer was no one.

At the White House, Obama administration officials said they sought repeatedly to persuade Mr. Christie and Mr. Cuomo to reconsider the quarantines, which they viewed as not just unnecessary but counterproductive. (Mr. Christie insisted on Sunday that he had “gotten absolutely no contact” from the White House; Mr. Cuomo said he had not been pressured.)

...On Sunday morning, Mr. Christie predicted on Fox News that federal officials would adopt the same standards “sooner rather than later.”

The Obama administration suggested otherwise. Officials said the quarantine rules could create “a system of perverse incentives,” encouraging health care workers to fly into a different airport, like Atlanta or Washington Dulles, outside states that had adopted the new policies.

Cuomo said of the flak, "We have to live in the here and now. I’ll take that criticism.... My number one job is to protect the people of New York, and this does that.”

Here's New York State's screening protocol at JFK Airport:

Screening is first conducted by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). If a passenger has a recent travel history for any of the three affected countries, a secondary screening of the passenger will be conducted by CBP. If a person coming from any of the three affected countries has a fever or reports exposure to Ebola, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reviews.

An additional screening will now be performed by New York State Department of Health and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene personnel.

Scenario 1: If a person arrives and has symptoms of the Ebola virus, they will be transported, via medical transportation (in protective gear), to one of the New York City hospitals designated by the State to treat Ebola patients for further evaluation and treatment.

Scenario 2: If a person arrives and had direct contact with people infected with the Ebola virus but is asymptomatic, they will be transported by private vehicle (arranged by the New York State Department of Health or local health department) to their homes where they will be quarantined for 21 days. (For those without homes, other accommodations will be made.) Under quarantine, at least two unannounced visits by local officials (in coordination with state health officials) will be made each day to check the individual’s condition as well as ensure that the individual is complying with the quarantine order.

The New York State Department of Health or local health department will, if needed, coordinate care services such as food and medicine.

Any health care worker returning from one of the affected countries who had been treating patients with the Ebola virus and is sponsored by Doctors Without Borders, typically has their wages paid for three weeks by Doctors Without Borders. For any health care worker whose sponsoring organization does not do this or something similar for their workers, as well as adults who meet New York’s criteria for quarantine, they would be provided financial assistance for 21 days by the state (e.g., cover their rent/mortgage and standard per diem).

Family members would be allowed to stay with the person being quarantined. Friends would also be allowed to visit with the approval of the local health department.

Scenario 3: If a person arrives from one of the affected areas with no symptoms and had no direct contact with anyone infected with the Ebola virus, such cases would be treated on a case-by-case basis. At the minimum the New York State Department of Health or local health department will monitor these individuals twice a day for temperature and other symptoms until the 21 day incubation period is over, but these individuals would not automatically be subject to quarantine.