The City of Hamilton and other organizations are taking coordinated steps to prepare for the possible introduction of Ebola virus disease into our community. The immediate focus is preparing and protecting front-line health care workers. City of Hamilton Public Health Services together with the Health Sector Emergency Management Committee are leading the preparedness planning for the community.

 It is important to emphasize that there are no known cases of Ebola in Hamilton or Canada and the risk remains low. The Ebola virus is spread through direct contact with blood, body fluids, or droplets from a person with the virus or materials contaminated with these fluids.

 Locally, the Health Sector Emergency Management Committee, which includes representatives from the local hospitals, LHIN, CCAC and other health-care organizations, has been meeting to prepare and test our response to potential cases of Ebola. Collectively, these local organizations will provide front-line health care workers with training and support necessary to properly respond to possible Ebola cases.

 The Provincial Government recently announced enhanced measures to protect all Ontarians. These include:

  • ·         Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has and will continue to issue directives to hospitals and other acute care settings about new personal protective equipment and training requirements as well as enhanced procedures for containing and treating Ebola.
  • ·         Designating a number of hospitals as referral hospitals to treat confirmed cases of Ebola, including Hamilton Health Sciences.
  • ·         Increasing the province’s inventory and availability of personal protective equipment, including ensuring the availability of N95 protective respirators.
  • ·         Creating a formal Minister’s Advisory Table on Ebola Preparedness which will meet regularly to provide ongoing advice to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
  • ·         Creating an Ebola Command Table which will include provincial representatives and representatives from the province’s LHINs and designated referral hospitals, among others.

 As more information becomes available, we will keep you updated. If you have any questions you may contact me directly or for the current provincial information on Ebola, please visit www.publichealthontario.ca/ebola

 Regards,

Dr. Elizabeth Richardson

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