California Officials Working To Ensure Ebola Response Preparedness
On Wednesday, California Department of Public Health officials said they are considering several measures to bolster the state's Ebola response preparedness, the Sacramento Bee's "Healthy Choices" reports (Craft, "Healthy Choices," Sacramento Bee, 10/16).
On Sept. 30, CDC officials confirmed the first case of Ebola in the U.S. after an infected man flew on a passenger plane from Liberia to Dallas (California Healthline, 10/1). Since then, two Texas health care workers who treated the patient have contracted the disease, while at least 76 staff members at the Dallas hospital could be at risk of contracting the virus (California Healthline, 10/15).
There are no confirmed or suspected Ebola cases in California, according to state health care officials. Two patients -- one in Sacramento and one in Los Angeles -- who recently were suspected of having the illness tested negative for the disease, according to "Healthy Choices" ("Healthy Choices," Sacramento Bee, 10/16).
Details of State's Efforts
Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has gathered a team that will monitor the Ebola situation in California, the AP/U-T San Diego reports (Lin, AP/U-T San Diego, 10/15).
In addition, DPH officials said they have launched an outreach campaign to confirm containment protocols are in place among:
- The federal government;
- Health care workers;
- Hospital systems; and
- Nurses' unions ("Healthy Choices," Sacramento Bee, 10/16).
Such protocols include instructions for health care workers on how to properly wear and dispose of protective gear, such as robes, gloves and goggles (Abram, Los Angeles Daily News, 10/16).
Meanwhile, DPH officials have requested that the federal government approve their plan to install screening checkpoints at all international airports in the state ("Healthy Choices," Sacramento Bee, 10/16).
Officials also are in negotiations with hospitals that could act as designated Ebola-treatment facilities, according to Payers & Providers. DPH is working with the California Department of Industrial Relations and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health to choose the hospitals that are best prepared to treat Ebola patients. The department also has partnered with a firm that has been approved by state and federal authorities to transport Ebola patients to special facilities for testing (Shinkman, Payers & Providers, 10/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.