NEW YORK: New York state is running surprise drills to prepare hospitals for possible Ebola patients and has designated eight medical centers to treat any cases of the disease diagnosed in the state, the governor said on Thursday.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said authorities were erring on the side on caution in their preparations, and that the public’s “anxiety is higher than the probability” of an Ebola outbreak in New York.
Even so, the governor said during a news conference, he would not be surprised if a case cropped up in New York, given the high number of people who visit or travel through the state.
All hospitals in New York are being trained to recognize potential Ebola cases in their emergency rooms and to respond appropriately, said Howard Zucker, New York state’s acting health commissioner, at the same news conference.
On Oct 21, the state Department of Health will hold an Ebola education session for healthcare workers, including hands-on demonstrations on wearing and removing protective equipment, at New York City’s Javits Center.
In addition to the unannounced drills at hospitals, New York will expand the tests to college campuses, subways and mass transit areas.
The eight hospitals that will handle all patients diagnosed with Ebola in New York are setting up isolation units, according to a press release. The state may designate additional hospitals later.