Pandemic influence can have a major impact on the campus with an unpredictable timeline, spreading quickly, and with high levels of absences from the work site and students attending classes. Major disruptions are likely for health care, public gatherings, suppliers and other public services. Although physical facilities will not be damaged, human resources will be affected and the services they provide.
Once a pandemic virus emerges, it is too late to begin planning or to begin collaboration. We have the opportunity to plan ahead and develop a response to what may become a worldwide epidemic.
Level 1 – Prior to a direct threat of pandemic influenza
Level 2 – Pandemic Influenza Flu Cases reported in the United States
- Establish a campus emergency pandemic influenza plan.
- Identify up-to-date, reliable pandemic information for campus distribution.
- Schedule periodic meetings of division representatives to track planning.
- Establish communication link with administrative team for collaboration of campus pandemic influenza planning and implementation of plan.
- Implement exercises/drills to test plan.
- Develop guidelines for modification of face-to-face contacts of faculty, staff and students.
- Identify employees and students with special needs and incorporate them in the plan for preparedness.
- Anticipate employee and student fears and anxiety and communicate information to dispel misinformation.
- Disseminate information to employees about pandemic preparedness and response plans.
- Collaborate with federal, state and local public health agencies and/or emergency responders about access and/or services available for assistance.
Level 3 – Pandemic Influenza Flu cases reported in Nebraska and/or on campus
- Conduct regular meetings with the pandemic influenza committee to review plans and update procedures.
- Continue to test plans through exercises/drills.
- Monitor up-to-date pandemic information for campus distribution.
- Maintain communication link with administrative team keeping them updated on campus information concerning pandemic preparation.
- Conduct regular meetings of division representatives to track preparedness.
- Prepare for partial or full closure of campus.
- Maintain communication with federal, state and local public health agencies.
Level 4 – Campus is closed
- Implement plan for restricting campus operation to slow the spread of the pandemic influenza.
- Coordinate campus activities being used to address pandemic influenza.
- Keep the administrative team up-to-date on what is happening on campus so that they can make informed decisions.
- Act as spokesperson for the release of information dealing with pandemic influenza.
- Activate the Incident Command Center.
- Coordinate business continuity plans to keep essential services in place for business that needs to be conducted and for the protection of the campus.
- Coordinate the communication between the administrative team, employees/students and the media.
- A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza A virus emerges for which there is little or no immunity in the human population, and the virus begins to cause serious illness, then spreads easily person-to-person worldwide.
- If a pandemic occurs, it is expected that it will have world-wide impact with an unpredictable timeline, comprising multiple fast spreading events or waves. Major disruptions are likely for health care, transportation, infrastructure, education, suppliers and other public services. Although physical facilities will not be damaged, human resources will be affected, with high levels of absences from the work site. An informed and prepared public can take appropriate actions to decrease their risk during a pandemic. To be prepared for such an emergency;
- Create a home emergency plan.
- Have necessary preparedness items on stock at home (food, water, medicines) A preparedness list can be found at http://www.tworiverspublichealth.com/documents/Preparednessbrochure.pdf
- Talk with your local public health officials and health care providers, who can supply information about the signs and symptoms of a specific disease outbreak and recommend prevention and control actions.
- Adopt business/school practices that encourage sick employees/students to stay home.
- Prioritize job duties to anticipate how to function with a significant decrease in your workforce.
- Develop guidelines to modify face-to-face contacts.
- Limit / discontinue travel for university business.
- Discontinue extracurricular events and large gatherings.
- Practice good health habits, including eating a balanced diet, exercising daily, and getting sufficient rest. In addition, take common-sense steps to stop the spread of germs, including frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes and staying away from others as much as possible when you are sick
Medical and H1N1