AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry announced Friday the first recommendations issued by the Texas Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. Gov. Perry created the task force, headed by Dr. Brett P. Giroir, earlier this month to assess the state’s readiness and ability to respond to Ebola and other infectious diseases.
Citing the need to stop Ebola before it comes to the United States, Gov. Perry also called on President Obama to enact an air travel ban from countries affected by Ebola outbreak, a message he conveyed directly to the President yesterday during a telephone call. Gov. Perry has previously called for enhanced medical screening at all ports of entry, as well as quarantine facilities to ensure public safety.
“Air travel is how this disease crosses borders, and it’s certainly how it got here to Texas,” said Gov. Perry “Based on recent and ongoing developments, I believe it is the right policy to ban air travel from countries that have been hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak, provided there’s an exception for aid workers to continue their important work fighting this disease.”
Among the initial recommendations being made by the task force to enhance our state’s preparedness and response to infectious disease are:
• Establishment of two Ebola Treatment Centers in Texas;
• Establishment of specialized patient transport teams;
• Expanded training of infectious disease protocols for health care workers;
• More testing labs for infectious disease; and
• Increased authority for DSHS chief to issue Enforceable Control Orders.
“The Task Force is providing technical recommendations to the operational teams responsible for the Ebola response in Dallas, on topics ranging from decontamination to options for experimental therapeutics,” said Dr. Brett P. Giroir, director of the Task Force and CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center. “The Task Force’s objectives are broad, and will require substantial inquiry to completely meet our charge, but there are key issues that deserve immediate attention. We are committed to communicating lessons learned, and in turn recommending actions that will ensure Texans’ safety and resilience.”