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Ebola test results come in for quarantined Yale student

Richard D'Aquila, president of Yale-New Haven Hospital, speaks during a press conference Oct. 16, 2014, about a Yale University research student quarantined with Ebola-like symptoms in New Haven, Conn.

CBS New York

Last Updated Oct 16, 2014 7:30 PM EDT

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Hospital officials in Connecticut quarantined a Yale University student researcher with Ebola-like symptoms, but state officials said Thursday that the patient tested negative for the disease, CBS Hartford affiliate WFSB-TV reports.

The state Department of Health said in a statement late Thursday that tests performed by the Massachusetts State Public Health laboratory were negative for Ebola and that confirmation tests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were expected as early as Friday.

Officials confirmed that the patient was one of the university's student researchers who helped monitor the Ebola outbreak in Liberia last month. That student was one of two who had been tested in Liberia. Both had negative results. They came back home on Oct. 11.

University officials at the time said the two students voluntarily sequestered themselves and did not show any symptoms. The other student remains in isolation.

Yale President Peter Salovey said in a message to the university community Thursday that both doctoral students would continue to be quarantined until the completion of a 21-day period that started when they returned, as required by the state.

Hospital President Richard D'Aquila said the admission of the unidentified patient was "smooth" and the patient was immediately put into isolation.

D'Aquila added hospital was well-prepared to handle this event and they have been prepared for a while.

Around 9 p.m. Wednesday, New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said she was informed about a possible patient with Ebola-like symptoms by the police and fire chiefs. After reviewing the case, Harp said she did not think this case would be Ebola.

However, hospital was taking precautions no matter what.

With the country in the midst of flu season, Harp stated that people who have not been out of the United States are likely experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Yale-New Haven Hospital Chief Medical Officer Thomas Balcezak said the patient developed a fever and told their primary care physician, who told the patient to go to the hospital. The patient will continue to be monitored, but Balcezak said that, after being evaluated in the emergency room, the patient was in "good/stable condition."

The patient was in a negative pressure room and in a safe location in the hospital. The patient's condition has continued to improve since the patient's arrival, but the patient does have a low-grade temperature.

A specimen was taken from the patient and transported to the lab in Massachusetts Thursday morning.

Officials with the Department of Public Health are monitoring people who were in contact with the patient. However, Balcezak made it clear that Ebola is not airborne.

The dean of students at Yale University said the patient has not had any contact with any Yale students.

Balcezak also discussed the treatment of the patient. He said the hospital's staff is trained very well and knows how to use all of the equipment. Two attending physicians with critical care training are taking care of the patient at all times.

One nurse is caring for the patient and the other is watching the first physician to make sure they are taking the right precautions, Balcezak said.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy held a press briefing and discussed the steps that state officials are taking to prevent a widespread Ebola outbreak.

"We need to go above and beyond the CDC recommendations," Malloy said.

A team of officials will work to certify front-line personnel and first responders, he said. Malloy also said every hospital in the state must perform an Ebola drill within the next week to see if they meet standards.