Gov. Scott: “Florida Hospitals Need to Hear Directly from the CDC to Better Protect our Healthcare Workers from Ebola”

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that the Florida Department of Health (DOH) asked the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to instruct Florida hospitals on best practices and what lessons have been learned from their experience in Dallas to best protect Florida healthcare workers in the event that Florida has an Ebola patient.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Now that there is a second healthcare worker with Ebola in Dallas, we want Florida hospitals to hear directly from the CDC on how to best protect our health care workers on the front lines. While the CDC has existing guidance, there have been public reports from nurses in Texas that either that guidance was not followed, or the guidance for healthcare workers needs to be updated. Whatever the case may be, Florida hospitals must hear any new safety guidelines directly from the CDC in the next 48 hours so our hospitals are best prepared to protect the health of nurses, doctors and patients.

“We are asking the CDC to hold a conference call with Florida hospitals on the best training and personal protective equipment protocols in the next 48 hours because we have to act with a sense of urgency to ensure our hospitals are prepared.

“We have also informed the CDC of DOH’s work to redirect federal grant funding, so we can purchase more personal protective equipment and other supplies to prepare for any case of Ebola in Florida. In light of this second case in Dallas today, we are asking the CDC to support our work to redirect these federal funds for Ebola preparedness, also within the next 48 hours.

Governor Scott previously called on Florida hospitals to hold mandatory training for their healthcare workers on Ebola preparedness. To date, only 39 hospitals in Florida have reported to the Department of Health that their mandatory healthcare worker training is complete.

On Tuesday, State Surgeon General Armstrong sent a letter to Thomas Frieden, Director of the CDC, announcing that Florida is working to redirect over $7 million in federal grant funding to Ebola preparedness efforts, specifically for the purchase of high-level PPEs to protect health care workers. Of the $7 million intended for redirection, $5.8 million requires federal support.

 

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