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 Tuesday, Sept. 22 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter

IN THE SPOTLIGHT


Flu season requires extra diligence

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this flu season could be severe with the presence of the H1N1 virus. Although last Friday, Sept. 18, CU-Boulder health officials reported seeing fewer weekly cases of students with flu-like symptoms at Wardenburg Health Center, it’s important to be diligent about personal health protocols, and to keep updated on university policy information in regard to influenza-like illness (ILI).

The CU-Boulder H1N1 Flu Information website includes a wealth of information specific to faculty, staff and students. In addition to Human Resources policies and recommendations for illness preparedness in classrooms and in the workplace, a variety of resources are provided for health tips, links to information from the CDC, The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and an array of tools that can be used for educational purposes.

Do you think you might have the flu? The Wardenburg Health Center flu website offers information on symptoms, seeking treatment, and additional information for students.

The Boulder Campus Human Resources website provides updated leave guidance information in both English and Spanish, accessible from the front page.

CU-Boulder is coordinating with Boulder County Public Health around future vaccination clinics and to acquire a portion of the national stockpile of medications. Wardenburg Health Center will offer a series of H1N1 vaccination clinics for students, faculty and staff. Health officials project the vaccine will be available in mid- to late-October.

The university infectious disease response plan, which has been in place since spring 2009, continues to be fully implemented, with updated information sent out as it becomes available via email messages marked "flu update." CU-Boulder officials are monitoring the situation with the combined health of the community as the number one priority.

With that goal in mind, here are a few vital tips and recommendations:

Faculty

  • All faculty members are expected to be flexible in regard to students missing classes and making up work. The recovery time for H1N1 can take at least 7-10 days, and students are expected to stay out of class until at least 24 hours after their fever breaks. Due to the number of expected illnesses, students with ILI should not be required to provide a note to excuse an absence from class. Wardenburg will not provide such documentation.
  • The university is observing normal class schedules at this time. If the situation changes, the provost will direct department chairs, in consultation with their deans, to decide if discretionary events should be canceled.
  • Faculty should make clear arrangements for class continuity in the event that they become ill, and should be prepared to communicate the information to students.
  • Departments should be prepared to receive student phone calls about missing class and notifying faculty of their health status, and to communicate key information to individual faculty and instructors.

Staff

  • The University is operating under existing leave rules, policies and procedures at this time.
  • Any Boulder campus and System Administration employees who are exhibiting ILI are strongly encouraged to stay home. Again, the CDC recommends that employees stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever has subsided without the use of fever reducing medications, and continue diligent hand-washing and good respiratory etiquette.
  • Employees with flu-like symptoms who do stay home should use sick leave for the absence and follow proper procedures to request leave from their supervisors. If an employee has exhausted all of his or her sick leave, it is appropriate to use annual leave.
  • The CDC recommends that employees not be required to confirm their illness or recovery from the flu with medical documentation because doctors' offices may be unable to provide such documentation in a timely fashion. Therefore, this flu season, employees are not required to submit a medical certification if they are out for more than three consecutive workdays because they or their family members have the flu. Departments are not required to designate Family Medical Leave (FML) for employees who have ILI or are caring for family members who have ILI.

By following recommended healthy practices and keeping updated as information develops, the CU-Boulder community can do its part to remain well, and to help keep others well, during this flu season.

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