State and Local Leaders Should take the Lead and tackle Ebola Head On

October 17, 2014

Hartford, CT – State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) has written a letter to the Congressional delegation and Governor Malloy asking the issue of Ebola be made front and center. Boucher is asking elected officials who are the voice for Connecticut in Washington, D.C., to encourage the federal government to do more to protect citizens.

“There are currently only four U.S. Hospitals with specialized isolation units, and this may not be enough. Each state should have its own facility,” said Sen. Boucher. “These are all options that public health officials in the state and federal governments should discuss as a means of providing the public with additional protection.”

As of Oct. 8, the Centers for Disease Control reports there have been 8,400 cases of Ebola, resulting in 4,033 deaths. From published reports the outbreak seems to have been centered in several countries in West Africa, but there have been three cases of the illness in the U.S. — two of which were nurses who treated a patient who has since died.

The CDC stresses that the disease is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to objects such as needles that have been contaminated.

Dr. Jewel Mullen Commissioner Department of Public Health said this week, “We have the best opportunity possible which is to prevent wide spread of this disease. Ebola is not a disease that is easy to catch. But we will continue to keep Connecticut prepared.”

What has the state done to prepare for a possible case? During the past several weeks the state has done the following including:

  • The state has an Emergency order to quarantine an individual or group of individuals.
  • State Department of Public Health commissioner has invoked the Emergency order.
  • State Public Health officials are going above and beyond what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is requiring.
  • A Unified Command Team from several state agencies will be responsible for coordinating resources with public if need be.
  • The Command Team will be charged with making sure the appropriate training is made available to all first responders.
  • 2-1-1 United Way is on alert to help public understand the facts surrounding Ebola.
  • The state is asking all entities including hospitals, large and small along with acute care facilities to have an Ebola drill with-in the next week.

This week, a Yale grad-student was tested for a possible case of Ebola. That person is currently in isolation at Yale New Haven Hospital. However, initial results have come back negative for the disease.

Boucher points out that if at any point there is a case confirmed, the CDC rapid response team will be dispatched to Connecticut and work with the state based unified command team.

“The ongoing outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has focused public attention on the ability of the federal and state governments to respond effectively to the virus. Although there are sensible and necessary precautions, many have expressed concern that they may not be sufficient in the event of a confirmed case in our state. This is why I encourage our public officials to do all they can to ensure our residents are well informed and protected,” added Sen. Boucher.

The state Department of Public Health agency website can be visited at or visit the United Way website at, or you can call 2-1-1 for more information.