The Cleveland Department of Public Health and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health held a joint press conference on October 18, 2014, to update the public on the response to the Ebola incident. Director Toinette Parrilla and Commissioner Terry Allan both spoke to on-going efforts between regional health care providers, state officials, CDC, and health departments to ensure that all area hospitals are prepared capable to handle an Ebola outbreak.
“All major health care systems in the Cleveland region are prepared to deal with a positive case of Ebola in Northeast Ohio if one were to occur,” said Director of Public Health, Toinette Parilla. “Today, myself and Commissioner Allan met with representatives from the CDC as we toured the MetroHealth system and witnessed, first-hand, the capacity of our health networks to deal with an Ebola case from triage to delivery of service.” “While there are no current cases of Ebola in Northeast Ohio, we are more than ready to deal with one.”
Terry Allan, Commissioner of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, reminded the public and media that the actual risk posed by Ebola is minimal. “To date, all of those who were in close contact with the Ms. Vinson are healthy,” said Commissioner Allan. “This is important to note because if these contacts are not ill then they do not pose a health risk.” Additionally, Commissioner Allan noted that those who are being monitored as close contacts in Dallas are healthy and nearing the end of their 21 day incubation period.
Assistant Director of Public Safety Ed Eckart spoke last and provided an update on the safety precautions taken by City of Cleveland first responders. “Today and tomorrow our Fire Department first responders will be finishing an educational session regarding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and operational protocol,” said Eckart. “We are constantly receiving feedback from our safety personnel and using that feedback to improve our response plans.”
The Emergency Operation Center and Joint Information Center of City the of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County Board of Health is still operational and will continue to provide updates.
Local Northeast Ohio residents and visitors are encouraged to dial 2-1-1 twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with general questions on the Ebola virus or contact the CDC for general information about Ebola at (800) CDC-INFO