Ebola hasn’t spread in Ohio yet, but should Ebola decide to appear, Ohio will be ready.
The state has earmarked $800,000 in state and federal funds to help prepare for an Ebola outbreak.
$300,000 of that Ohio Ebola emergency fund will be used for disposable personal protective equipment for hospitals, first-responders, nurses and other health-care workers.
The other $500,000 will be used to contract clean-up and sanitation services should an Ebola case appear in Ohio.
The state contacted five companies to discuss a clean-up contract, but only one company was even interested in being involved with Ebola in Ohio.
Ohio has been investigating 153 people that were believed to have come in contact with Amber Vinson. She is the second nurse confirmed to have contracted Ebola after treating now-deceased patient Thomas Duncan in Dallas. All of those she may have come into contact with are being monitored, but no Ebola symptoms have been reported so far.
Vinson had flown to and from northeast Ohio between Oct. 10th and 13th to plan her wedding.
The state reports that it currently has 16 “patient days” worth of emergency Ebola supplies, with a single patient day amounting to 240 suits. That is taking into consideration multiple health care workers changing gear multiple times over several shifts in order to care for a single patient.
The new funds will boost Ohio Ebola preparedness to 96 patient days.
“If a local hospital has difficulty receiving their supplies of (personal protective gear) in a timely fashion, we are able to come in and supply things until the supply chain opens back up,” said Lynne Bratka, interim chief of the department’s Bureau of Health Preparedness.
For now, the state of Ohio will ensure that all hospitals have enough equipment on hand for one patient day, with a little more for northeast Ohio as it is the focus of Ebola observation right now.
All extra Ebola equipment will be stored in an undisclosed location in Ohio until needed.
What do you think? Is Ohio doing enough to prepare for Ebola? Should all states do more?