LANSING, MICH.— Michigan National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, participated in a press conference Wednesday, October 22, with Gov. Rick Snyder, discussing Michigan’s proactive efforts to deal with the Ebola threat.
The governor relayed the emergency preparedness drills taking place to ensure Michigan’s network of healthcare facilities are fully prepared, should it become necessary. Michigan has availability of more than 1,000 isolation beds spread across a network of 191 hospitals fully capable of treating Ebola patients.
Michigan is also home to one of 14 national laboratories capable of complete Ebola testing. This ensures a rapid diagnosis should a patient in Michigan develop symptoms congruous with the disease.
Though there are no direct flights from western Africa into Detroit Metropolitan Airport, there is a fully-operational Center for Disease Control quarantine station within the airport staffed and ready in case it becomes necessary.
Vadnais spoke to the capability of the Michigan National Guard to support the fight, both locally and abroad. In light of last week’s Executive Order by President Obama authorizing the use of the National Guard in Liberia, Vadnais assured the Governor of Michigan’s willingness and preparedness to combat Ebola.
The situation is especially close to Vadnais and the Michigan Guard because of the ongoing State Partnership with Liberia. Michigan Soldiers have traveled to the region to train with the Armed Forces of Liberia since the partnership’s conception in 2009.
Currently, there are less than 10 Michigan Soldiers in Liberia, all of which are in regular communication with leadership in Lansing. There have been no health issues reported from Michigan Soldiers in Liberia. Five Soldiers are due to return to Michigan in the coming weeks, while 14 more are preparing to mobilize there in December.
While the Ebola threat is real, there are other health concerns that remain more likely, Snyder said. The governor, along with his panel of medical experts, encouraged Michiganders to remain vigilant against issues that are prominent this time of year. He urges citizens to take an active approach against the Influenza virus by receiving the flu shot.