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Cooper Reopened

Courtney Beckwith Haas
Dec. 8, 2014

After closing down due to staff exposure to Ebola, Seventh-day Adventist Cooper Hospital has reopened.

The hospital underwent the required quarantine period after two of their staff members were suspected of contracting the Ebola virus and died. Since then, the hospital and staffing determined that they would reopen and continue to serve the needs of non-Ebola related patients.

Right now Cooper has two outside physicians working on site. Drs. Gillian Seton, who has been serving as a DMA throughout the Ebola crisis, with the exception of when she returned to the states during the closure, and Greg Saunders. Saunders will be serving at Cooper until Dec. 22. 

According to Seton, the situation in Liberia has changed dramatically in the last month. The number and staffing of Ebola Treatment Centers (ETCs) in Monrovia is much larger and as a result, the ETCs have been able to catch up on their back logs meaning that they can immediately test for possible Ebola infection when a patient arrives and if the patient is infected they have isolation beds available for them.

There is also a greater number of ETCs around the country so that patients with suspicion of Ebola do not have to travel to Monrovia for testing. This has lead to a decrease in the number of Ebola suspected patients attempting to receive treatment at Cooper.

Cooper is still being very vigilant with screening and the staff is now highly motivated to use standard precautions that are expected in hospitals. These changes in the spread of the disease, the number of treatment centers available, and the precautions that all hospital staff are enforcing at Cooper are the basis for stopping this disease completely.

Prior to returning to Cooper, Seton arranged with Adventist Health International (AHI) to provide a general resupply shipment every six weeks. Due to the temporary closing of the hospital, they are just now beginning to use the supplies that were previously given to the hospital site. This additive provides a strong supply of needed protective equipment to the staff of the hospital.