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MCSO detention officer ordered to stay home after West Africa trip

PHOENIX — A Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office detention officer was ordered to stay home for three weeks Tuesday after traveling in West Africa, the scene of a large Ebola outbreak.

In a press release, MCSO said the unidentified employee was scheduled to come back to work Wednesday, but was told to remain at home for the duration of the Ebola incubation period as a precaution.

“The decision to bar this employee from the jails was made by Sheriff (Joe) Arpaio to protect employees and inmates alike,” said Mike Olson with MCSO. “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 employee traveled to Sierra Leone, where thousands have been killed by the virus. That officer was cleared by Centers for Disease Control officials in both Belgium and Washington, D.C. to fly home.

The employee agreed with Arpaio’s decision and was placed on administrative leave.