Dallas hospital will no longer treat Ebola

The Dallas hospital that has treated three Ebola patients will no longer admit anyone who has been infected with the disease, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Tuesday.

Texas health officials are creating a pair of new Ebola treatment centers to handle any additional cases. Neither of those facilities are at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, which has been heavily criticized for its flawed care of the country's first Ebola patient.

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“In the event of another diagnosis, [these facilities] will allow us to act quickly to limit the virus’s reach and give patients the care they need in an environment where healthcare workers are specially trained and equipped to deal with the unique requirements of this disease,” Perry said Tuesday.

Perry said Texas Health Presbyterian is not part of the state’s Ebola plan to “give them relief.”

The hospital has faced a firestorm of criticism, after it treated the country’s first Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, and then diagnosed two more cases among the nurses who treated him.

Duncan died Oct. 8. The other two patients, who became infected through their work at the hospital, have been transferred to more specialized hospitals.

The hospital has admitted missteps in its care of Duncan, partly blaming the rarity of the disease in the U.S. as well as a lack of support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dozens of the Dallas hospital’s workers are still at risk for the disease after treating Duncan and potentially exposing themselves to the virus. Another 43 people who had contact with Duncan were cleared on Monday, at the end of the disease’s 21-day incubation period.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden had initially said that any hospital with an intensive care unit could safely treat an Ebola-infected patient. Frieden said Monday that Ebola patients should be transferred to specialized hospitals.

One of the bio containment centers, which Perry said would be "state-of-the-art," will be run by a trio of hospitals in the Dallas area. The second center will be set up at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, along the state’s eastern coast.

Methodist Health System in Dallas will dedicate an entire floor to Ebola treatment, while Parkland Hospital and UT Southwestern Medical Center have both pledged staff and supplies.

“The reality is, there remains a threat, and as long as it’s there, Methodist is obligated by our mission — to improve and save lives through compassionate, quality health care — to do all we can to help,” said Dr. Stephen Mansfield, president and CEO of the Methodist Health System.

Perry delivered remarks about the new plan in Dallas on Tuesday, though the event was not broadcast live.