SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and California state public health officials today met with emergency responders and representatives of leading health care providers to discuss the state’s Ebola preparedness efforts.
The Governor joined officials from the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) to meet with California hospital leaders and nurses. The Governor will also meet later today with emergency responders, local health directors and medical providers.
While there are currently no cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in California, state officials are taking steps to help ensure health care workers, hospitals and first responders are prepared to treat and care for patients with Ebola.
Since the EVD outbreak began in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, CDPH has worked with state, federal and local health officials to prepare for potential cases of EVD in California. In August, CDPH launched an informational website compiling information about the outbreak and preparing California health care providers with guidance and protocols from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDPH has developed an interim case report form for reporting suspected cases of EVD to CDPH and has distributed CDC guidance on specimen collection, transport, testing and submission for patients suspected of having Ebola. Last week, CDPH posted interim guidelines for EVD medical waste management and recommended that all healthcare facility environmental services personnel and infection control staff work together to develop facility-specific protocols for safe handling of Ebola related medical waste. CDPH has provided these and other documents to health care providers and partners via the California Health Alert Network (CAHAN).
In September, CDPH convened more 1,100 health care and public health workers to urge them to assess their Ebola readiness and conduct drills in their facilities. Last week, CDPH officials held a teleconference with health care providers to discuss the latest news and guidance about handling suspected EVD cases. CDPH is providing weekly updates to local health officials, first responders and health care providers as the EVD outbreak continues in West Africa. In an effort to ensure that health care workers throughout the state have the necessary information on protecting themselves while treating patients with EVD, Cal/OSHA last week distributed interim guidance on proper use of personal protective equipment, infection control and respiratory protection. CDPH is also available to provide consultation about suspect EVD cases to local health departments and health care providers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Governor and state officials from CHHS, CDPH, DIR and Cal/OSHA convened meetings with representatives of the California Hospital Association, University of California Office of the President, Cedars-Sinai Health System, Sharp HealthCare, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, California Nurses Association, California Conference of Local Health Officers, County Health Executives Association of California, California Primary Care Association, California Medical Association, Emergency Medical Services Administrators’ Association of California, EMS Medical Directors Association Of California, California Fire Chiefs Association, California Professional Firefighters, Service Employees International Union and the Association of Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees.
For more information about how the state is preparing for potential cases of EVD, please read CDPH’s Ebola Virus Disease FAQs and visit the CDPH Ebola Virus Information Page and the Cal/OSHA Ebola Virus Information site.
Photos captions can be found below:
1.)Governor Brown and state officials meet with California nurses.
2.)Governor Brown meets with state officials.
3.)Governor Brown and state officials meet with California hospital leaders.
Photo Credit: Brad Alexander, Office of the Governor. For high resolution copies of these photos, please contact Danella Debel, Office of the Governor at Danella.Debel@gov.ca.gov.