Gov. Rick Snyder says state's preparedness, education efforts continue against Ebola threat

Friday, Oct. 17, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today said that in the rapidly evolving situation concerning Ebola, the state continues to coordinate with the health and medical community to protect residents and ensure adequate training, education and equipment for health care workers.

To coordinate statewide health-related preparedness efforts, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) and its Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP) have activated the Community Health Emergency Communications Center (CHECC). Director of the Department of Community Health Nick Lyon and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Matthew Davis have been designated by the governor to lead state efforts against the threat of Ebola.

“Hospitals and health care workers across Michigan are preparing to respond appropriately if a patient who may have or be at risk for Ebola virus infection is identified,” Snyder said. “Activating the CHECC allows our departments to further enhance and ensure the strongest collaboration possible and be certain to accurately assess the situation and potential risks to Michigan and respond rapidly and effectively if needed." 

The CHECC is currently activated at a Level 2 known as an ‘alert mode’ out of four possible levels. Level 2 means the CHECC is partially activated, and the state is leading:

  • Daily assessment of risk of Ebola in Michigan and travelers coming to Michigan
  • Assessment of readiness in health care facilities across the state
  • Active support to health care facilities and workers as they continue to update their preparedness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to update its recommendations used in hospitals to maintain safe work procedures for health care workers. As new information is released, the MDCH and OPHP continue to partner with hospitals, health departments, physicians, nurses and other health care providers to protect against any threat the Ebola virus may pose to our state and its residents.

“The Michigan Department of Community Health is talking with hospitals and responding to questions to make sure the health care community has accurate, up to date information,” said Nick Lyon, MDCH director. “We know that training and education are paramount to controlling the spread of infectious disease, and we are encouraged by those hospitals leading the way to conduct exercises and to prepare their medical staff.”

MDCH is urging health care facilities across the state to continue to assess their readiness to respond to patients with potential Ebola virus infection, especially as guidance from the CDC is updated.

“As part of preparedness statewide, we are discussing with hospitals the benefits of holding drills so their staff are prepared and informed about the appropriate practices and procedures for the care of a person who may have Ebola,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, chief medical executive with the MDCH. “Patient care and public health happens most fundamentally at the local level, when patients seek care. Being prepared is a priority in local facilities and across the state.”

MDCH hosted a practice exercise today in coordination with the Michigan State Police and other key state partners to walk through the processes and steps that would be taken should an Ebola case present in Michigan.

“The Office of Public Health Preparedness routinely holds exercises to walk through the different scenarios we may face when dealing with infectious diseases,” said Dr. Jackie Scott, director of the OPHP. “We have well-established networks in place to effectively coordinate with our partners across the state to make sure potential Ebola patients receive the appropriate level of care.”

Residents looking for information and resources in their community should talk to their local health department.

For more information on the symptoms of Ebola, visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/ or the new MDCH webpage at www.michigan.gov/ebola.

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