Low-key manner worked

Published 10:54 am Thursday, November 13, 2014

How to defend the public against the threat of Ebola has been controversial in several states, with President Barack Obama second-guessing some governors who dared to pursue what they viewed as science-based precautions.

But in Ohio, a state where concern was merited, controversy has seemed absent. So has Ebola.

Why? State and local officials in the Buckeye State moved quietly but decisively after news broke that a Texas nurse with Ebola had visited the state…

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On Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Health announced the end of a 21-day “watch period” for a few dozen people who may have had contact with the nurse…

During that three weeks, about 160 people were monitored by health officials. Three of them had been quarantined.

Far from resting on their laurels, state officials continue to check anyone returning to Ohio from West Africa, where Ebola is a deadly, raging epidemic…

How is it that Ohio took effective action against Ebola — including a few quarantines — without being the target of criticism?

In part it is due to the low-key manner in which state officials acted. And, of course, there is the fact the vast majority of Ohioans recognized the danger and supported local and state governments.

Ebola could still come to Ohio, of course. So could outbreaks of other diseases, including influenza. But state officials and residents have provided a model for dealing with deadly diseases and, in doing so, have laid the most important groundwork for handling challenges in the future — public confidence.


The Marietta Times