Courtesy of TPM Reader FN we have some more information on Chris Christie’s crackpot Ebola policy, which he seems to have quietly ditched after no one was looking. FN flags this piece just published by NJ.com which suggests that Christie simply never implemented the policy. But not before finding an abandoned psychiatric hospital, Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital, in Hunterdon Country where asymptomatic health care workers returning from West Africa would be confined – and not before racking up 500 hours of police overtime hours to guard the abandoned facility even though no one was there.
The police guard at the empty facility apparently ended on Wednesday. Had anyone actually shown symptoms of Ebola infection they would not have been sent to Hagerdorn but one of three state hospitals designated for handling Ebola patients.
The article seems to suggest that the state decided after all to ask people who had potential exposure to Ebola in West Africa to go about their normal daily business, take their temperature twice a day and report it to their local health department. As we reported last week, there were 71 people under that kind of “active monitoring” as of November 18th.
From NJ.com …
PBA Local 113 Attorney Stuart Alterman said two officers and a supervisor were assigned to Hagedorn, and they were all paid at the overtime rate.
Alterman called the Hagedorn assignment “an impulsive way to deal with an acute situation that was neither planned very well or executed very well.” He said officers in the 94-member police force were concerned and frustrated they were provided no training to respond in the event a quarantined person become ill.
“I’m not going to say it wasn’t needed,” Alterman said. “They are not doctors and nurses and not trained to deal with containing a potential pandemic.”