The state of Texas has ordered family members of the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States to stay in their home and have no visitors.

Law enforcement officers were stationed overnight at the apartment complex where Liberian national Thomas Eric Duncan was staying in the Vickery Meadow neighborhood of northeast Dallas.

Officials said the order to have the family stay put in the Ivy Apartments on Fair Oaks Avenue was taken “out of an abundance of caution” and was hand-delivered to the family Wednesday night.

“We have tried and true protocols to protect the public and stop the spread of this disease,” said Dr. David Lakey, Texas health commissioner. “This order gives us the ability to monitor the situation in the most meticulous way.”

Dallas County health officials had originally instructed the family to stay home, but now that suggestion has become an order “to ensure compliance.”

The state emphasized that none of Duncan’s family members has shown any symptoms. However, the order also requires the family to provide blood samples and to immediately report any symptoms to health officials.

“If a person does not follow these orders, they can be enforced by the courts, and the person can face criminal charges,” according to a release from the Department of State Health Services.

Dallas health officials have said that 12 to 18 people have come in direct contact with Duncan after the virus became contagious. Another 80 or so indirect contacts, people who came in contact with those dozen or so direct contacts, are possible, county health director Zachary Thompson said.

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