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Delaware Health Alert Network #26

May 20, 2003 4:55 pm


Health Alert
HOSPITAL ALERT - CODE ORANGE

The Department of Homeland Security issued a Code Orange - High Threat Alert today, May 20, 2003. The High Threat Alert informed all states that intelligence reports indicate potential for terrorist attacks to related to an increase in terrorist attacks abroad. State and local governments are advised to increase security at state and federal buildings, monuments, hospitals and high traffic locations.

NO SPECIFIC THREAT HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND NO SPECIFIC LOCATIONS OR WEAPONS HAVE BEEN INDICATED. Agents ranging from biological, chemical and radiological remain on the threat list and require advance response preparation.

Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) issues the following recommendations and protective actions to all Delaware hospitals to assure adequate advance preparation and response capabilities.

Each hospital should assure that this HAN alert, and those issued in the future, be provided to its emergency department, infection control program, laboratory, public information officer, director of nursing and head nurse. Subsequent HAN alerts will be sent to address signs and symptoms, as well as treatment protocols for potential terrorist agents.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Assure Hospital Safety and Security

  • Assess supplies, medications and antidote status
  • Assess staffing levels -- current and related to your mass casualty plans
  • Assess equipment status
  • Assess laboratory preparedness
  • Protect air handling system intakes
  • Protect liquid oxygen supply
  • Require all vendors to schedule deliveries
  • Hold unscheduled deliveries at least 1500 feet from the facility
  • Heighten security around loading docks
  • Increase visibility of security
  • Review facility lock-down procedures
  • Removal of facility/site plans from web sites

Continue DAILY Syndromic Surveillance Reporting

Utilize usual system (DPH epidemiologists will contract each hospital's infection control staff)

Provide a Specific Contact Person for Each Facility

Identify a hospital decision-maker responsible for coordinating future information and preparedness and response activities. Please indicate a method of contact and the number. (i.e. pager - 302-###-####) for this person on nights and weekends.

Categories of Health Alert messages:

  • Health Alert: Conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention.
  • Health Advisory: Provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.
  • Health Update: Provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; unlikely to require immediate action.
NOTE: This page is for informational purposes only and dated material (e.g. temporary websites) may not be available.



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