The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held talks Monday with Gov. Rick Scott and with state hospital officials about the best ways to protect employees from the threat of Ebola.
Gov. Scott wanted the CDC to provide state healthcare workers guidance for proper use of personal protective equipment, safe handling of medical waste and effective clinical strategies within hospitals.
“I want to thank the CDC for working with our healthcare workers on a conference call today and supporting our work to repurpose more than $7 million in federal funding to buy equipment that enhances our preparedness for Ebola,” said Governor Scott. "We continue to not wait for the federal government as we prepare for any Ebola response in Florida. The Department of Health is currently acquiring more high-level PPEs so our healthcare workers on the front lines are protected.”
On Friday, the CDC approved a request from state health officials to redirect $7 million from federal grants to buy full body suits for health care workers who may have contact with any potential victims of the virus.
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According to the CDC, healthcare workers nationwide must now wear hoods and suits that cover every part of their body. One other healthcare worker will doublecheck another worker's gear before leaving and entering contaminated areas.
Governor Rick Scott says, “We are preparing for the worst, while hoping for the best.” The Governor announced Monday, the Florida National Guard is currently establishing two Rapid Response Teams to further enhance Florida’s Ebola preparedness efforts. Governor Scott says each National Guard Rapid Response team of 16 will include doctors, nurses and equipment personnel. The teams are undergoing intense training and will be ready by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, defense officials say President Obama wants a more aggressive response to the virus. The Defense Department is preparing a 30-person of doctors, nurses, and trainers is being formed by the US military in order to provide direct treatment to Ebola patients within the US.
The team would travel to anywhere in the US to help with future Ebola cases.
"This team is to be of assistance to help civilian medical authorities where and when they are needed," said Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon Press Secretary. "So they are going to start training in the next week or so. That training will take a week or so. After they complete that training they'll be on what we call prepare to deploy orders for 30 days, about a month. They'll be responsible to be ready to go with 72 hours notice or less."