Braintree Mayor Joseph Sullivan faced a panel of state lawmakers Thursday about last weekend’s Ebola scare in his town.
Mayor Sullivan described confusion and communication problems between emergency workers on the ground and state department of public health officials.
“Cell phones created a lot of static noise, supervisory staff could not hear, we had different individuals on different cell phones all doing their best but having individual conversations with DPH personnel.”
Last weekend, a man who had traveled to Liberia showed up at a Braintree clinic with flu-like symptoms, triggering a full public safety response. The man was moved to a hospital in Boston, while dozens of workers and patients in Braintree were quarantined. He later tested negative for Ebola.
Sullivan said patient confidentiality laws made it difficult to tell the public what was going on in a timely way. And he said cities and schools need clearer guidelines about how they're supposed to respond.