Brief Ebola scare at Westerly Hospital

WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) — Officials at Westerly Hospital activated their safety protocols Saturday night after a patient with flu-like symptoms arrived by ambulance.

The patient got to the hospital around 10:30 p.m. Their travel history was unclear at that time. Therefore, officials say they initiated those protocols out of an abundance of caution, and immediately contacted the the Rhode Island Department of Health. The measures taken by staff including wearing protective gear before any interaction with the patient and isolating the person from any other patients.

The patient’s travel history was eventually cleared, and those safety measures at the hospital were lifted. It was determined the patient was not at risk for having the Ebola virus. Eyewitness News has learned that person has since been released from the hospital.

“All parties involved Saturday night demonstrated a calm and controlled response to a potentially challenging situation.” hospital spokesman Michael O’Farrell said. “The effort resulted in extraordinary coordination between the Westerly Ambulance Corps, the Westerly Fire Department and all hospital staff.”

O’Farrell said that hospital officials would be reviewing their protocols to determine if there are any parts which might be improved for future incidents.

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