HOUSTON, Texas — Following a health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital being diagnosed with Ebola, reports circulated that the hospital’s Emergency Room (ER) had “stopped accepting new ER patients.” Such statements have caused a flurry of confusion; a spokeswoman at the hospital’s ER told Breitbart Texas that it is open, functioning, and receiving new patients at this time.
On Sunday morning the hospital put out a press release that stated, “We have put the [Emergency Department] on ‘diversion’ until further notice because of limitations in staffed capacity — meaning ambulances are not currently bringing patients to our emergency department. While we are on diversion we are also using this time to further expand the margin of safety by triple-checking our full compliance with updated CDC guidelines. We are also continuing to monitor all staff who had some relation to Mr. Duncan’s care even if they are not assumed to be at significant risk of infection.”
This statement appears to directly contradict what the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital ER spokesperson told Breitbart Texas over the phone. “We are functioning and open,” she said, adding that they are accepting new patients.
It is easy to imagine that the conflicting messages could cause considerable confusion among the public.
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital is where Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who brought Ebola into the U.S., was treated. He passed away as a result of the virus on October 8. The health care worker who recently fell ill came in direct contact with Duncan while he was being treated.
It is unclear exactly how the new patient contracted the disease, given that all health care workers were wearing the required protective gear.
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.