SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has established an Ebola hotline call center to respond to public inquiries related to Ebola it was announced today by Dr. Ron Chapman, CDPH director and state health officer.
“This hotline has been set up and staffed to answer questions from those concerned about the possibility of Ebola in California,” said Chapman. “Our goal is to be available to eliminate the mystery of this disease and offer the facts to Californians as the situation evolves. This is one in a series of steps we have taken in the last few months.”
The hotline, 855-421-5921 will be in operation from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
There are currently no confirmed cases of Ebola in California and no suspect cases.
Since the Ebola outbreak began in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, CDPH has worked with state, federal and local health officials to prepare for potential cases of Ebola in California. In August, CDPH launched an informational website compiling information about the outbreak and preparing California health care providers with guidance and protocols from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDPH has developed an interim case report form for reporting suspected cases of Ebola to CDPH and has distributed CDC guidance on specimen collection, transport, testing and submission for patients suspected of having Ebola. Last week, CDPH posted interim guidelines for Ebola medical waste management and recommended that all health care facility environmental services personnel and infection control staff work together to develop facility-specific protocols for safe handling of Ebola related medical waste. CDPH has provided these and other documents to health care providers and partners via the California Health Alert Network (CAHAN).
In September, CDPH convened more 1,100 health care and public health workers to urge them to assess their Ebola readiness and conduct drills in their facilities. Last week, CDPH officials held a teleconference with health care providers to discuss the latest news and guidance about handling suspected Ebola cases. CDPH is providing weekly updates to local health officials, first responders and health care providers as the Ebola outbreak continues in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. CDPH joins with a team of state departments and agencies including: California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS), the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES), Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) and the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), to address all aspects of preparedness for a potential Ebola case in California.
CDPH is also available to provide consultation about suspect Ebola cases to local health departments and health care providers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For more information about how the state is preparing for potential cases of Ebola, please read CDPH’s Ebola Virus Disease FAQs and visit the CDPH Ebola Virus Information Page and the Cal/OSHA Ebola Virus Information site.