An Ebola case in the Bronx is highly unlikely, but that has not stopped Governor Cuomo from picking Montefiore to be ready just in case.
In an announcement of New York State’s Ebola Preparedness Plan on Thursday, October 16, the governor selected eight regional hospitals, including Montefiore, and appropriate government agencies, to assure that every precaution is taken to protect against Ebola in this diverse state.
An outbreak of the virus is occurring in parts of west Africa that do not have sophisticated medical infrastructure, and is claiming many lives.
According to published reports, Ebola showed up in at least two cases in Texas that don’t appear to be life-threatening
But, New York State is not taking any chances.
“Protecting the people of this state is one of our top priorities in government, and I want all New Yorkers to know that we are doing everything necessary to safeguard against the risks of Ebola,” said Cuomo. “Today I’m announcing a thorough effort involving multiple state agencies and authorities that will ensure we are prepared to address even the slightest possibility of this disease.”
The state is working closely with federal and local health care providers and government entities, as well as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to ensure that the proper protocols are followed for identifying, isolating, and treating Ebola, according to the administration.
The governor added: “This administration has always erred on the side of caution, and this issue is no different.
Monte takes the lead
In the unlikely event of an Ebola outbreak in the Bronx, Montefiore will is on it and will handle it.
“We applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this potential public health issue,” said Montefiore Health Systems president and CEO Dr. Steven Safyer. “New Yorkers will be well-served by having specialty centers located in their communities with the expertise to respond quickly and efficiently if the need arises.”
Safyer added: “Montefiore, with its academic partner, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has nationally-recognized expertise in Ebola research and treating infectious diseases, and has a robust infection control program. We have been training our frontline care providers in best practices for many months to identify, isolate, and care for patients who may be infected with Ebola.”
A Montefiore spokeswoman stated on Monday, October 20 that its personnel who are part of its Ebola team are already training, and were unavailable to be interviewed.
Diaz offers information
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will hold an informational forum on Understanding Ebola at the Bronx Museum of the Arts at 1040 Grand Concourse. The town hall meeting will have public health officials present and will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 29.
“With so much sensationalism surrounding the topic of Ebola, we want to make sure that Bronxites have a clear, correct understanding of the facts surrounding this virus and how it spreads,” said Diaz.
The forum will provide attendees with a chance to have their questions answered by health professionals, and give the community an opportunity to express their concerns.
Ebola is contracted by contact with blood or fluid from infected people and animals.