H1N1 Short Term Response Plan
September 8, 2009
- Students who are suspect they are ill with the flu can report to the health center for an initial screening of their symptoms. Students should attempt to maintain distance from others and not touch any shared items with others before they can get to the health center. Once at the health center, they will be placed in an isolated room until they can be evaluated. They could be referred by an RA, professor, staff member or self referred.
- The nurse on duty at the health center will do a basic clinical evaluation of symptoms along with a medical history to monitor any underlying illnesses. A swab test for the flu or any lab work will NOT be done at the initial screening.
- If patient is considered a ‘high risk’ for complications from the flu (people with auto-immune or metabolic disorders, asthma, pregnancy or other) will be held in isolation at the health center until they can be evaluated by a health center physician. Symptoms will continue to be monitored by nursing staff until the student is seen by the doctor.
- If a ‘high risk’ student is still considered ‘high risk’ after they are examined by a physician, they will be isolated in the health center (unless they need hospitalization). They will be monitored by the health center.
- If a patient is not considered ‘high risk’, they will be instructed to return to their room (on or off-campus) and will be given a “health care packet”, instructions on self care and the details of isolation, and a letter for their parents*. The health care packet will include:
- A multi-use thermometer
- Hand sanitizer
- 5 masks
- Ibuprofen and Tylenol
- Packages of salt (for gargling)
- Written instructions for self care
- A written letter for their parent/s/guardian/s*
The isolation will need to occur until a student has been free of a fever (without the use of fever reducing medications) for 24 hours or until symptoms disappear – whichever comes first. This could anywhere from 4 to 7 days. Students will not be given anti-biotics or anti-virals as a standard course of treatment for the basic ILI (influenza-like illness), even though they may ask for them. Doing this is medically contra-indicated according to the CDC and other medical entities. The use of any prescription medications would only occur in isolated cases that have been comprehensively assessed by a physician.
Isolated students will be instructed to:
- Keep a distance of 6 feet from others
- Cover their mouths with a Kleenex or elbow if they cough or sneeze
- Refrain from intimate contact with other
- Refrain from sharing any surface object they touch with others (and to cover door knob or other community surfaces they must touch with a tissue)
- Get plenty of rest
- Refrain from substance use
The isolated students will be excused from class and professors will individually arrange accommodations for the missed work. Students will be instructed to stay in their rooms at all times but will be allowed to shower and use toilet facilities. If possible, separate bathroom facilities will be assigned to ill students. If this is not possible, plans for disinfection of surfaces will be enacted. Bon Appetit will provide take out meals to students and those will be delivered to students by an RA or other designated person. The non-ill roommate/s will be free to continue their life as usual but will be encouraged to keep their distance from others and be mindful of disinfection. Roommate/s will have the choice to find alternative housing themselves if they wish but it the college will not make these arrangements, as the roommate/s have already been exposed and the Department of Health does not see this as necessary.
Ill students will be ‘tracked’ by the Health Center and/or Dean of Students office with the aid of the Health Center staff and volunteers (we hope). Ill students in isolation will not need to be seen by a physician unless their symptoms worsen. The monitoring of students will help track a student’s progress/recovery. Students will also be encouraged to go home for the period time they are ill if that is a viable option.
- If the number of students needing isolation increases, especially ‘high risk’ students, the Pandemic Planning Team will reconvene to reassess options for isolation. If there is more demand for isolated quarters for ‘high risk’ students than what the health center can accommodate, further options for isolation will be used. The decision to use additional housing options will be made based on the assessment of the clinical and institutional variables occurring at the time of need. Arrangements will be made to provide continued monitoring for these ‘high risk’ ill students that would be housed outside of the health center. If the overall number of isolated (ill) students (on and off campus) reaches numbers that are resulting in high rates of absenteeism from class, the pandemic planning team will assess the situation and make recommendations for the continuation of operations. Furthermore, if the demand for initial evaluations of ILI increases to the point where the operational load at the health center is beyond its capacity, additional nursing staff will be brought in temporarily to help with the patient overload.
- All faculty and staff should report that they are missing work through their normal channels if they have ILI. They should follow up with their own medical provider and let their department or division assistant know that they are ill. They should call in each day they are out and HR will track their absences and work with them to make accommodations if they should exceed their available sick time.