January 18, 2018

Dear Muhlenberg College Employee,

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 that you receive the flu vaccine, even if less than an ideal match, as it will still provide some protection against the flu.

 

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.

  • Do not come to work if ill.

 

If you have a sudden onset of body aches, a fever of 100°F or greater and a cough and/or a sore throat, you may have the flu.  You should stay home until you have been fever free for 24 hours without the use of medicine.  Also, please keep any ill children at home (rather than bringing them to campus) to avoid spread of the flu.  

Given the contagiousness of the seasonal flu, employees are asked to prepare for the possibility of significant absences in departments throughout the college during flu season.  

 

Supervisors, in particular, are asked to take the following actions:

  • Monitor employees for influenza-like illness and send ill employees home

  • Reinforce with staff members that in balancing public health and work duties, public health considerations must carry the greatest weight

  • Do not require staff reporting flu-like symptoms to submit a health care provider’s certification, unless the need for a doctor’s note is established with Human Resources

  • Identify the essential functions of your unit and cross train employees to be able to fulfill these essential functions in case of absenteeism

  • Permit employees to use vacation days (without advance notice) or personal days (non-exempt employees) as necessary to care for ill family members who are experiencing flu-like symptoms

  • Permit employees who are absent due to flu-like illness who have expended all accumulated paid time off to use future sick and vacation time prior to actual accrual.

  • Consider alternate work schedules and telecommuting where feasible to facilitate social distancing when employees in the group are experiencing flu-like symptoms

  • Remind employees that ill children are not to be brought to campus.

  • Encourage staff members to have hand sanitizer available at their work sites for themselves and visitors to use  

  • Request Clorox wipes through the Work Order system for employees to use to sanitize work surfaces and door knobs on a regular basis.

 

If you have any questions, you may contact Health Services at 484-664-3199 or Human Resources at 484-664-3165.  Wishing you a healthy 2018!


Sincerely,

 

Brynnmarie Dorsey
Executive Director, Health Services

Anne W. Speck
VP for Human Resources