Flu Pandemic Information
On Wednesday, August 26th, the interim president issued initial guidance to the university community regarding preparations for the Seasonal Flu/H1N1 virus. This message provides additional information and resources for all Gonzaga faculty and staff on issues relating to the 2009/2010 flu season. Minimizing the potential impact of this flu season will require deliberate effort on the part of each member of our university community.
Specific to the Gonzaga community, we have taken the following actions:
- The President has appointed a "tactical team" to coordinate the University's ongoing logistical and communication efforts relating to the seasonal flu/H1N1 virus. This team will also review and bring together the plans currently being developed within each vice presidential division regarding the seasonal flu/H1N1. The team will meet at least weekly.
- On Friday, September 25th, Gonzaga's Health Center will begin offering seasonal flu shots to employees. There will be no cost to employees utilizing their Premera coverage for preventive medical and will be available until the Health Center runs out of vaccine.
- Plant Services staff have installed hand sanitizer dispensers in many common areas across the campus and we urge you to utilize these resources to minimize the spread of germs.
- In order to effectively monitor the number of cases of flu that our campus may experience, we ask that supervisors call the benefits office (Jamie Burchett, x5852) promptly if any staff calls in sick or reports to work with flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, cough, etc.). Supervisors do not need to provide the name of the affected staff, but should provide their position title so we can assess the level of contact they may have had with other employees.
- The Gonzaga Health Center webpage has additional Gonzaga communications and general information regarding the seasonal and H1N1 flu at http://www.gonzaga.edu/Healthcenter/ This link also provides you with access to both the CDC and the Spokane Regional Health District websites that are being regularly updated with the most recent information and recommendations.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends each of us take these everyday steps to protect our health:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a paper tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash immediately after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread most quickly when transferred from mucus membranes to contact surfaces.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people unless absolutely necessary.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Note: Your fever should disappear on its own, without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making them sick.
We will continue to provide communication to the Gonzaga community as this flu season unfolds. Please contact Human Resources at x5995 if you have any questions related to this communication.