Officials: Central High employee placed on medical leave as added precaution

Russell County press conference on Ebola scare
Published: Oct. 21, 2014 at 12:26 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 21, 2014 at 12:35 PM EDT
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PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - Emergency management officials in Phenix City and Russell County met Monday to address concerns about Ebola after the Board of Education announced an employee rode the same plane at a different time as an Ebola patient.

There does not appear to be any risk of Ebola exposure to students, faculty and staff of the PCBOE.

City and county officials stressed in the press conference that the actions taken were done in abundance of caution.

"The CDC is not recommending any actions for persons who were not on the two flights the nurse was on," Superintendent Randy Wilkes stated. "Our employee was not."

The PCBOE was informed that a Central High School employee rode the same plane the day after someone who tested positive for Ebola. The release states the plane was cleaned in between flights. Since the flights were a day apart, the CDC advised they have no concern that the PCBOE employee is at risk of infection.

"In an abundance of caution, the Phenix City Board of Education has notified parents, faculty and staff of the occurrence," Wilkes said.

The added precaution prompted dozens of phone calls about the timeliness of the notification and precautions taken. In response, Phenix City and Russell County joined forces to reveal their stance on the incident and to stress the safety of all involved.

"There was nothing that we needed to do in this circumstance, but to make sure that we have done everything possible and to put everybody at ease, some extra steps took place," Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said. "I think that's responsible government."

The unidentified employee has been placed on paid medical leave for 21 days, starting from the date of the flight. We're told all necessary facilities received regular cleanings.

However, the Russell County EMA director and other agencies say they are prepared for instances like these.

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