DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Instead of declaring an emergency disaster members of the Dallas County Commissioners Court decided Thursday to take no action and rely on individuals potentially exposed to the Ebola virus to adhere to self-monitoring/isolation guidelines and avoid public transportation and “public places.”
Leaders had considered the potential disaster declaration to help control the possible spread of the Ebola virus and maybe prod the state to pony up money to help cover the costs incurred by the County, but they decided to “keep it in their toolbox,” as they said.
After coming out of a closed-door meeting commissioners said they believed a disaster declaration would ultimately hurt Dallas.
During the meeting it was also announced that a control order will be issued for the 87 healthcare workers who may have had contact with now-deceased Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan.
The agreement, which includes CDC guidelines already in place, calls for those being monitored to voluntarily stay off public transportation, especially airplanes, and not leave the area.
In addition, North Texas cities will now ‘flag’ the addresses of the individuals being monitored in the 911 system, so if there is an emergency call from one of those addresses, first responders will know they might be walking into a situation involving Ebola.
Speaking about concerns from the public that those potentially exposed to the virus could put others at risk, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said, “I understand the public’s desire to have these healthcare workers sign something that’s binding and have us put them under a type of an order, and we’re doing that, but not because they’re not the sort of heroic people that wouldn’t be doing that stuff anyway.”
Jenkins also revealed that henceforth he would be the primary contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and that he is moving his office to the CDC command post at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas beginning October 17.
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