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Delaware Health Alert Network #60

December 22, 2003 3:11 pm

Health Advisory

The Department of Homeland Security issued a Code Orange - High Threat Alert yesterday on December 21, 2003. The High Threat Alert informed all states that intelligence reports indicate potential for terrorist attacks related to an increase in terrorist threats here and 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.


Assure Hospital Safety and Security

  • Assess supplies, medications and antidote status - antibiotics, oxygen, IV fluids
  • Assess staffing levels -- current and related to your mass casualty plans
  • Assess equipment status - ventilators, PPE, HEPA units, decontamination systems
  • Assess laboratory preparedness - security, sample transfer protocols
  • 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 participations in DPH DAILY Syndromic Surveillance Reporting

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

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.
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