Joe Arpaio Gets In on Ebola Hysteria by Making Jail Guard Stay Home After Trip to Africa

Sheriff Joe Arpaio is making a detention officer stay home for the next three weeks because the officer visited Sierra Leone.

Arpaio issued a press release announcing that the unnamed officer has been placed on administrative leave over MCSO's fear of Ebola.

See also: -No Ebola Discovered in Arizona, but State Health Officials on High Alert

From the press release:

Chief of Detention Mike Olson says, "The decision to bar this employee from the jails was made by Sheriff Arpaio to protect employees and inmates alike. A few employees voiced some concerned to their supervisors indicating that they may refuse to work if this employee is allowed in the jails during the incubation period. We cannot afford to have a work disruption nor can we risk even the slightest potential of introducing Ebola into the jails."
The detention officer is showing no signs of symptoms, and was cleared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to come back to Phoenix.

According to the World Health Organization, the incubation period for Ebola is 21 days, which is how long the officer has been placed on leave. According to the Sheriff's Office, the officer -- who makes an annual trip to Sierra Leone to visit family -- agreed to being placed on leave.

MCSO Deputy Joaquin Enriquez confirmed to New Times that this is 21 days of paid leave.

Something to keep in perspective: WHO reported about 3,400 suspected and confirmed Ebola cases in Serra Leone -- a country with a population of more than 6 million people.

Arpaio says employees are welcome to visit west Africa for vacation since there are no travel restrictions, but he'll put them on administrative leave for 21 days once they get back, too.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley