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How Prepared Is Florida To Deal With Ebola If Cases Suddenly Appear In State?

Gov. Rick Scott speaking during Tuesday's gubernatorial debate hosted by CNN and WJXT, a Jacksonville TV station.

How prepared is Florida to deal with cases of Ebola if the disease appears in the state? As of Tuesday, less than a third of Florida hospitals have completed Ebola preparedness training—according to the state’s emergency response team.

But, Governor Rick Scott says if a patient tested positive in Florida today, he’s pretty confident hospital workers could properly take care of that person.

“I would feel confident that we’re doing the right thing right here in Florida,” said Scott. “My goal was to make everyone feel everyone feel comfortable that we would be prepared, just like if there was a hurricane, we would be prepared for it.”

Speaking during Tuesday’s gubernatorial debate, he said the state is still working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, the CDC just had a conference call with Florida hospital executives.

“We asked for them to do a conference call with all of our health care workers to explain what happened in Atlanta vs. what happened in Dallas because I used to be in the hospital business,” added Scott. “You try to find best practices. They did that, so that was a positive. We asked if we could use some of the federal funding in our own agencies to buy more equipment. So, they’ve allowed us to do that. So, we’re buying with their money and state money protective gear. So, we’re heading in the right direction.”

Two nurses were infected, after they treated an Ebola patient at a Dallas hospital. Federal health officials in Atlanta have since released new guidelines for protective gear fully covering the skin to be worn by health workers who treat Ebola patients.

Meanwhile, health officials say the chance of contracting the disease is extremely low.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.