H1N1 Information for Departments

As flu season approaches, it is essential that all WSU departments take steps to minimize the spread of influenza and its effect on WSU operations. Please review the material and apply it appropriately within your department.

The University has purchased a supply of hand sanitizer and smaller amounts of rubber gloves, face masks and virucidal disinfectant. Departments may choose to do the same. If your department is in need of these supplies, please contact extension 8004 (Environmental Health and Safety).

PRIORITY #1 - INFECTION CONTROL

Infection control measures are prevention strategies which will help control the spread of the flu virus. Utilizing these measures will help contain and prevent contamination of work surfaces and reduce students, faculty and staff’s potential exposure to the virus.

Departmental Checklist

Utilization of hand sanitizers/hand washing

Regularly washing or sanitizing your hands will greatly lessen your chances of becoming ill. Placement of hand sanitizing solution is recommended in service areas and where employees are in regular contact with many people.

Increase disinfecting schedule

It is recommended that work surfaces be cleaned regularly throughout the day to limit contact with the flu virus. Virucidal disinfectant is available for high traffic areas to compliment regular cleaning procedures.

Encourage staying home if sick

In an effort to combat this spread, it is recommended people stay home if they are sick. The flu is contagious 24 hours prior to the onset of symptoms and up to 7 days after onset.

CDC guidelines recommend staying at home until you are symptom free for 24 hours or for 7 days, whichever is longer. Key symptoms of the flu are sudden onset of symptoms, high fever and sore throat.

 

PRIORITY #2 - PLAN FOR AN OUTBREAK

It is vital that the University continue to operate through the flu season. Essential department functions should be identified and contingency plans established. While you are in the best position to determine how best to make this happen, here are some basic steps that departments can take as part of their contingency planning efforts.

Departmental Checklist

  • Identify essential functions that must continue to be performed in your department.
     
  • Identify non-essential functions that can be suspended if needed.
     
  • Identify back-ups to key personnel.
     
  • Plan for the re-routing of in-coming phone calls in the event of absences.

Faculty Checklist

  • At the beginning of each term, faculty should inform students of how they will continue to communicate with students in the event that normal class meetings cannot be conducted for some period of time. This information should be included in the course syllabi. For any technology the faculty member might use (e.g., Phone, Email, Blackboard, ChiTester, Ourspace, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), the faculty member should have access to the technology from off campus. In addition, the faculty should have accurate contact information for all their students for the technologies they choose to use.
     
  • Faculty are encouraged to work with students who are absent from class as a result of the flu virus to provide a reasonable opportunity to make-up missed quizzes, exams and/or assignments.
     
  • Plan for the re-routing of in-coming phone calls in the event of absences.