Preparing for the possibility of Ebola in correctional institutions

Preparing for the possibility of Ebola in correctional institutions

Corizon Health Nurse Practitioners Tori Garcia and Sharon Gober demonstrate the usage of Ebola PPE at the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County, California.

At every level of government, public health institutions are monitoring the spread of Ebola and are preparing for a coordinated response should a patient arrive in their local health jurisdiction. At a recent federal hearing, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), testified that despite the latest incidents, “we remain confident that our public health and health care systems can prevent an Ebola outbreak here.”

Ebola is one of the latest infectious diseases that are threatening the public, and from New York to California, Corizon Health staff are preparing for the possibility of an outbreak. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) usage and intake screening protocols for the virus have been set up in each Corizon Health site. Employees also recently underwent an Ebola screening training, the goal of which was to learn how to contain Ebola cases outside correctional institutions. Using PPE and following standard safety procedures—as well CDC recommendations—medical and administrative staff observed and practiced the sequence of putting on and safely removing the gown, mask or respirators, goggles or face shield, and gloves that make up the PPE. Employees engaged in the training as part of their responsibilities to themselves, to their inmate patients and to site staff.

While Ebola continues to spread in Sierra Leone and Guinea, ten patients have been treated in the United States thus far. Eight of the ten have recovered.