NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Eight hospitals in New York have been designated to treat any Ebola cases identified in the state.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that all 200 hospitals across the state are ready, but said the eight hospitals are especially prepared with go-to teams who’ve been drilled in anti-Ebola protocols.
“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,” he said.”New Yorkers should rest assured that we are taking the steps to be fully prepared for whatever the future brings.”
• Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan
• NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan
• Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan
• North Shore/Long Island Jewish Health System in Nassau County
• Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx
• SUNY Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse
• Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island
• University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester
Cuomo said that starting Monday, medical experts will be dispatched to hospitals to make sure they have the needed equipment and training for possible Ebola cases.
Cuomo said he prefers that the state err on the side of caution rather than being caught unprepared. So far, there have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in the state.
“We are trying to get the entire system up to speed, but we are also developing specialized capacity and identifying certain facilities, certain workers where we can,” Cuomo said during a news conference in Manhattan, alongside several agency heads.
Health officials also said they are running unannounced drills at emergency rooms around the state using people posing as patients with Ebola-like symptoms.
In addition, officials said public transportation systems including New York City subways and buses are on the alert for possible passengers carrying the virus.
MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast said the MTA already has in place protocols for dealing with the disposal and removal of infectious waste, including buses and trains so that they can be cleaned.
But the governor says New Yorkers’ anxiety level is higher than the probability of the deadly virus arriving here.
Officials tried to quiet fears by saying the city is prepared and that Ebola is not the kind of disease you can get from taking the subway or walking on a crowded street.
“This is transmitted through bodily fluids, so we don’t think it’s a high risk of epidemic proportions. Are we going to get a case? We may. The public does not have to worry about an outbreak of Ebola in the city,” Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito said.