January 15, 2018

 

Dear Faculty,

As you are most likely aware, flu activity continues to be widespread across the nation and flu activity continues to be on the rise.  According to the CDC, most of the influenza infections are caused by influenza A, subtype H3N2 strain.  Years when H3N2 is circulating tend to be periods when the vaccine is less effective.  However, it is still recommended to receive the flu vaccine, even if less than an ideal match, as it will still provide some protection against the flu.

 

To reduce flu transmission on our campus, the college is:  

 

  • Using a cleaning product that is effective against the flu

  • Wiping down common areas in residence halls at least twice daily

  • Cleaning more frequently in other high traffic areas of campus

  • Posting signs in the residence halls about the virus and how to prevent its spread

  • Monitoring the spread of the virus on campus

  • Encouraging students with the flu to practice social isolation by going home, not attending classes or group activities

 

We encourage you to take the following measures to prevent the transmission of flu on our campus:

 

  • Get a flu shot

  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and warm water or use alcohol based hand sanitizers when water is not available.  

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick

  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Get adequate sleep and good nutrition.  Do not smoke or drink alcohol.

  • If you have the flu, please do not come to campus.

 

For students:  in addition to giving the typical flu medical advice, Health Services is instructing students with flu symptoms that they should:

 

  • Go home, if possible.

  • Not attend class until fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine (such as Advil or Tylenol)

  • Notify each professor that they are missing class due to flu symptoms.  Students are told they responsible for missed work.

 

In turn, we are asking professors to do the following:

 

  • Monitor students in class for influenza like illness (maybe as simple as a student who looks ill or feverish in class) and reinforce the concept self-isolation with the sick students. Remind students that in balancing public health and class attendance, public health must carry the greatest weight.

  • Notify Health Services (484-664-3199) if there is significant absenteeism due to the flu (so that we can monitor flu activity)

  • In order to monitor flu activity on campus, encourage students with the flu to notify the Dean of Students Office by completing a short form located here.

  • Establish a reasonable timeline and means (email or telephone) through which students can inform the professor that they have flu-like symptoms and will be missing classes.

  • Provide students with a reasonable opportunity to make-up missed work.

  • Do not ask or expect to receive a note from Health Services regarding missed classes or any type of physician note regarding absences due to the flu.  Again, the CDC recommendations are directed towards mitigation; not all individuals with the flu will need to seek medical care.

 

Thanks for your support with this.  Please contact Health Services with any concerns.  Wishing you a healthy 2018!

 

Sincerely,

Kathy Harring
Provost

Allison Williams
Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students

Brynnmarie Dorsey, CRNP
Executive Director, Health and Counseling Services