CHA News Article

35 Hospitals Across U.S. Identified as Ebola Treatment Centers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced yesterday that 35 hospitals across the country have been identified and designated as Ebola treatment centers. According to HHS, the hospitals were selected by state health officials in collaboration with local health authorities and hospital executives. Each center has been assessed onsite by infection control teams from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure they have adequate staff, equipment, training and resources. The CDC is evaluating additional hospitals to designate, including facilities in California, and is expected to announce them in the next few weeks.

Part of a broader national strategy to improve Ebola preparedness, the hospitals are in key locations. According to HHS, “More than 80 percent of returning travelers from Ebola-stricken countries live within 200 miles of an Ebola treatment center.” The priority areas “are jurisdictions served by the five international airports screening returning travelers for Ebola, cities with high proportion of returning travelers from West Africa, and cities with large populations of individuals from West Africa.” The additional hospitals supplement the three national bio-containment facilities at Emory University Hospital, Nebraska Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health.

In addition, the CDC has released interim guidance covering what hospitals need to provide comprehensive care to an Ebola patient. It has also released interim guidance on Ebola “assessment hospitals,” which serve as points of referral for actively monitored individuals who develop symptoms, such as fever, compatible with Ebola.