White House Intergovernmental Briefing: Update on Ebola and Enhanced Screening Measures at Airports

NACCHO staff attended an Ebola update conference call with U.S. mayors, governors, and county officials hosted by the White House on Oct. 8. President Obama stressed the importance of controlling the epidemic at its source in West Africa as a national security priority and extended his appreciation to local and state health officials for their efforts on the front lines of public health to keep communities healthy and safe.

Enhanced Screening Measures at Airports

Administration officials announced that beginning Oct. 11, the five U.S. airports that receive nearly 95 percent of all travelers from West Africa (New York’s John F. Kennedy, Washington’s Dulles, New Jersey’s Newark, Chicago’s O’Hare, and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson) will implement additional screening measures for Ebola. Travelers arriving from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will be required to fill out a more detailed health declaration form upon arrival and personnel will use non-contact thermometers to take passengers’ temperatures. Personnel will continue visual monitoring efforts already in place and isolate passengers as necessary.

What Local Health Officials Need to Know

Dr. Frieden, CDC director, stressed that local health departments should use this time to develop a good connection with all healthcare facilities within their jurisdiction to promote preparedness and to be ready to respond using common infection control measures. Dr. Frieden also invited elected officials to reach out to their local health departments to ensure a supportive relationship and to open communication lines. CDC will continue to share updates with state, local, and healthcare partners through their website and the Health Alert Network.

For More Information

View the CDC press release and factsheet about the enhanced screening measures. Medical personnel with immediate questions about Ebola are encouraged to call 800-CDC-INFO to speak with a public health expert.

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