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State universities set up Ebola readiness plan

County Medical Center President and CEO Victor F.

County Medical Center President and CEO Victor F. Politi and infectious disease experts demonstrated the training that will be given to Nassau County firefighters, police, emergency personnel and hospital workers when handling EBOLA patients. The event took place at Nassau University Medical Center on Oct. 16, 2014. Photo Credit: Uli Seit

The state's university system has set up an Ebola preparedness plan that includes drills and bans on campus-related travel in Ebola-stricken West African countries.

Stony Brook University and the system's 63 other campuses will have to identify potential travelers from affected areas, then offer education and support "self-monitoring," SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher wrote in a Friday memo to campus presidents.

She said SUNY's "Ebola Working Group," set up weeks ago, has been expanded to include campus specialists on public health, student services and international programs.

Her latest directive says campus health centers must conduct emergency drills. The Ebola working group has been modifying drill instructions with state health officials and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including how to recognize potential victims of the usually fatal virus and communicate with local health authorities, Zimpher wrote.

Stony Brook University Hospital and SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse have been designated as treatment centers for potential victims of the deadly virus.

Zimpher reminded campus officials that travel, including study abroad and research grant activity, is still banned to Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and any other countries with a Level 3 travel notice from the CDC. Level 3 is a warning against nonessential travel.

The chancellor also urged campus officials to publicize procedures to the campus community.

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