Aug. 27, 2009
We rarely have the luxury of several weeks advance notice before an emergency occurs, but with a potentially bad flu season on the horizon, time is on our side.
This message is the first in a series that I will share with faculty, staff and students to help our campus prepare. If we collectively take a few actions at home and at work, we will lower the odds of catching and transmitting the flu and help our campus remain open when our students, faculty and staff need our services this fall and winter.
The World Health Organization declared a pandemic for the H1N1 flu (formerly called the “swine flu”) in June 2009. The virus continues to spread worldwide. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) expect more cases as the regular flu season approaches.
Given the real possibility of widespread cases of H1N1, we will take a proactive approach to minimize the flu’s effects on our ability to fulfill our core mission.
Consider the following suggestions as you examine the needs of your family. This list is not exhaustive; use it as a starting point for personal planning.
In all the divisions and units of our campus, supervisors will ensure that our business continuity plans contain appropriate documentation to cover all job functions.
The Public Employees’ Benefit Board continues its annual flu shot campaign for the seasonal flu. A flu shot from a PEBB clinic, however, does not protect against the H1N1 virus. Health experts recommend that everyone get the seasonal flu shot. They also recommend getting the H1N1 vaccination as soon as it is available. For more on PEBB’s seasonal flu-shot clinics for state employees, visit the Board’s Web site: http://oregon.gov/das/pebb.
In early September, I’ll share more information about the flu and update you on any new information we receive about flu spread in Oregon. To answer HR questions, we will offer tools to help employees and managers navigate various policies and practices as they relate to flu season.
I hope you will join me to prepare for this flu season, and for taking personal responsibility to help yourself, your families, and to protect your colleagues, students and others with whom you come in contact. A small investment of time now will ensure we’re well-positioned this fall and winter.
President, Oregon State University
Oregon’s main flu site: http://www.flu.oregon.gov/
Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/
Public Employees’ Benefit Board: http://oregon.gov/DAS/PEBB/flushots.shtml
CDC Seasonal Flu Guidance: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/