New Canaan Health Director: Town’s First Responders to Undergo Additional Training following Concerns about Ebola


[Editor’s Note: The following statement regarding community preparedness on Ebola was issued by Dr. David Reed, director of health in the New Canaan Department of Health. As we reported in a recent installment of “Did You Hear …” the town’s emergency officials have been working toward a municipal protocol regarding the disease.]

Recently, concern has mounted about the spread of Ebola in the United States. As the Director of Health New Canaan, I would like to share with you the regional response plans.

Since 2007, the New Canaan Department of Health has been part of the Region 1 (ESF-8 Fairfield County) Public Health Emergency Response Team (PHERT). Over the past few years, the New Canaan PHERT has developed protocols to deal with a potential deadly pandemic event in our town, which was modeled on a new flu virus strain such as devastated the country in 1918.

With this new threat, the PHERT team is working with state and regional partners to refine protocols specific to potential management of Ebola cases. In New Canaan, the First Selectman’s Office, the town Emergency Management team as well as Departments of Health, Police, Fire and EMS have all participated in statewide planning sessions. We are coordinating with the state to obtain additional supplies of personal protective equipment, to finalize protocols and to initiate additional training for first responders.

There are no cases of Ebola diagnosed in Connecticut at this time.

The Ebola pandemic that started last spring in West Africa has resulted in roughly 10,000 cases of which there were 5,000 deaths. Public concern with the possibility of spread to this country has escalated as medical professionals involved in the fight against this disease and families from the region have returned to the U.S. The death of a man returning from of a Sierra Leone in Dallas—and more recently, the return of a New York physician who tested positive—have prompted significant national, state and local governmental responses

On October 7th Governor Dannel Malloy declared an Ebola “public health emergency” and signed an order that gives the power to Commissioner Jewel Mullen of the Department of Public Health to quarantine individuals or groups. Since that time, eight individuals considered at risk have been quarantined for the recommended 21 days in their homes.

The New Canaan Health Department will provide ongoing information and links to authoritative web sites to obtain additional information. Below are three sites:


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