NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Active monitoring has ended for the last of the 114 health care workers who cared for Dr. Craig Spencer – New York City’s only Ebola patient so far.
The city Health and Hospitals Corporation announced Tuesday that the last of its employees who cared directly for Spencer at Bellevue Hospital Center has safely passed the 21-day Ebola monitoring period, and has been cleared of risk for infection from the deadly virus.
“The brave staff at Bellevue Hospital meticulously adhered to every protocol and public health best practice, and successfully protected their own health as they worked to protect their patient’s health. This is a tremendous achievement that demonstrates that our vigilance and our months of drills, training, and preparation paid off,” HHC president and chief executive officer Dr. Ram Raju said in a memo to staff. “In every way, Bellevue staff nobly embodies our Guiding Principles.”
Spencer was released from Bellevue on Nov. 11 after he was declared Ebola-free. He was admitted on Oct. 23.
The city had been monitoring hospital, EMS and laboratory workers involved in his care as a precaution.
City officials also said that as of Tuesday afternoon, the Health Department was monitoring 222 other people “out of an abundance of caution.”
Those people had arrived in New York City within the previous 21 days from the four Ebola-affected countries.
The city said none of them have shown any Ebola symptoms.
The announcement Tuesday came as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services designated 35 hospitals across the country across the country as Ebola treatment centers.
For more than a month, health officials have been talking to — and evaluating — hospitals that could serve as referral treatment centers for new Ebola cases that might occur. A team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assessed more than 50 hospitals in 15 states and Washington, federal officials said.
The 35 hospitals are deemed to have the staff, equipment and training to safely and effectively care for Ebola, the government said.
The Tri-State Area hospitals on the list include Bellevue and five others:
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, New Jersey;
North Shore System LIJ/Glen Cove Hospital, Glen Cove, Long Island;
Montefiore Medical Center, the Bronx;
New York-Presbyterian/Allen Hospital, Manhattan;
The Mount Sinai Hospital, Manhattan.
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