Cuomo, hospitals: New York ready if Ebola arrives

Health workers at an area hospital have ordered 100 additional protective suits.

Health workers at an area hospital have ordered 100 additional protective suits. (10/17/14)

YONKERS - From telling transit workers to be on the lookout for Ebola symptoms to designating first-response hospitals, the state of New York is working to reassure the public that it will be ready if Ebola strikes.

Airport workers, police officers and even transit workers have been told to be on the lookout for signs of the deadly virus. Thursday night, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that eight hospitals across the state have been designated as first-response facilities. None of those hospitals are in the area, but the closest one is in the Bronx. The full list of hospitals includes:

In the Bronx, Montefiore Medical Center; in Manhattan, Mt. Sinai, New York Presbyterian and Bellevue; in Nassau County, North Shore/LIJ; in Suffolk County, Stony Brook University Hospital; in Rochester, the University of Rochester Medical Center; and in Syracuse, Upstate University Hospital.

Still, local hospitals are preparing just in case. “What Ebola has done—not only has it heightened the awareness—it’s making us prepare for the unexpected,” said Dr. Anuj Vohra, of Orange Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Vohra’s fellow staff members have been trained on how to detect Ebola and how to protect themselves from contracting the virus by following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hospital intake personnel also ask patients a series of questions about recent travels, and the hospital has isolation rooms prepared for patients who show Ebola-like symptoms.

White Plains Hospital has put in an order for an additional 100 protective suits. "We just want to be prepared and we're getting our folks together,” said Dr. Erik Larsen. “And we're teaching them and re-teaching them and retraining.”

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