Joe Robach office outlined the State’s plans for Ebola preparedness and to assure New Yorkers that the State is taking every precaution to protect their health and safety. Eight hospitals statewide have been identified to treat potential patients with Ebola. Additionally, the State Department of Health has issued a Commissioner’s Order to all hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centers, and ambulance services in New York State, requiring that they follow protocols for identification, isolation and medical evaluation of patients requiring care. In order to ensure that New York is continuously prepared to safely treat anyone who is exposed to or contracts Ebola, an education session for healthcare workers will be held in New York City on October 21.

Joe Robach office went on to explain that the Port Authority will coordinate procedure and practice between all State airports to ensure proper training is in place for airport personnel, and the Port Authority Police Department will be deploying two ambulances per shift at each of its airports to ensure the timely and safe transport of potential patients with Ebola. As part of the State’s preparedness plan, unannounced drills currently occurring at hospitals and health care facilities will be expanded to college campuses and mass transit areas. State agencies will continue to work together and make adjustments as necessary in the weeks and months to come in order to best protect New Yorkers.

“Protecting residents is one of our top priorities in government,” Joe Robach said in an press release sent out by his office “New Yorkers and Monroe County residents specifically should know that we are doing everything necessary to safeguard against the risks of ebola. A thorough effort involving multiple state agencies and authorities will continue to ensure we are prepared to address even the slightest possibility of this disease.”

New York State’s Ebola plan calls for eight hospitals statewide to handle all patients diagnosed with Ebola, with plans to designate additional hospitals going forward. The following eight hospitals have agreed to the designation and are creating isolation units to accept patients:

•Mt. Sinai in Manhattan
•New York Presbyterian in Manhattan
•Bellevue in Manhattan
•Montefiore in the Bronx
•North Shore/LIJ Health System in Nassau County
•Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse
•University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester
•Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island

Joe Robach office outlined some of the State agencies and authorities that are already working to address the threat of Ebola, including:

Department of Health: In addition to updating protocols and hosting training exercises, the Department of Health will plan webinars for all hospital epidemiology, infection control and emergency room staff on Ebola. DOH will also draft another alert reiterating guidance about emergency department triage and infection control and take steps to be sure this guidance reaches all parts of the healthcare system, including clinics, urgent care centers, and primary care. DOH will also conduct an electronic survey of all hospitals to query Ebola readiness activities, training, and the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE). DOH regional staff – including personnel from the Office of Public Health’s Epidemiology, Infection Control, and Primary Care and Health Systems Management Offices – will do joint visits to hospitals and other health care settings using a standard check for things like emergency department triage, care plan, PPE, and training.

Public Safety: New York State Police, the New York State Chiefs and Sheriff’s Associations and SUNY Chiefs are working together to coordinate field advise for police officers regarding recommended equipment and procedures to reduce chance of contamination.

Joe Robach encourages all residents who are looking for more information about Ebola – including answers to common questions and links to other resources on the disease – to visit the NYS Department of Health office website by clicking HERE.