FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – All Connecticut acute care hospitals have conducted an Ebola preparedness drill as directed by the state, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday.
Malloy last week gave hospitals one week to complete the exercise to make sure their procedures were up to standard as the threat of the deadly Ebola virus grows.
“The announcement last night of a New York City doctor who tested positive for Ebola underscores that we’re doing the right things to prepare for a potential case in Connecticut,” said Malloy, who was briefed Friday on the Ebola situation by State Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Making sure our hospitals and first responders are prepared is critical to our efforts.”
Following Malloy’s directive, the state Department of Public Health issued guidance to hospitals on conducting the drill, which required an exercise specific to treating a patient with Ebola-like symptoms.
The drills also had to include Emergency Medical Services. They included functional aspects of caring for a suspected Ebola patient such as screening protocols, methods of isolation, and use and disposal of personal protective equipment.
DPH is reviewing After Action Reports submitted by the hospitals, which will provide feedback on how hospitals can further enhance levels of preparedness.
“These drills tested hospitals’ ability to identify, isolate, and treat a suspect patient with Ebola,” said Mullen. “We will continue to work with them to ensure they can identify a patient with Ebola, protect health care workers so they can safely care for the patient, and remain coordinated with emergency responders.”
DPH has been working with hospitals for more than a decade through its hospital preparedness program to enhance hospital preparedness “all-hazard scenarios,” including infectious disease outbreaks.
Over the past several weeks, Malloy has taken several preventive measures to help prevent the spread of Ebola in Connecticut.
He signed an executive order to grant authority to the Public Health commissioner to quarantine an individual or group of individuals exposed or infected with the Ebola virus. Nine people who recently returned from West Africa are currently doing a 21-day quarantine in their homes.
The Department of Public Health has requested that all hospitals conduct an assessment of their readiness to detect, protect and respond to patients infected with Ebola.
For more information, visit the state’s new Ebola website, www.ct.gov/ebola .
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