Saint Joseph’s College of Maine H1N1 Influenza Procedure

In response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) rise in classification
of the H1N1 flu virus to the Phase 6 pandemic level, Saint Joseph’s
College has activated its comprehensive pandemic response plan and is
prepared to respond to cases of H1N1 influenza or other influenza-like
illnesses that may arise in our community.

It is important to note that WHO considers the overall severity of the
influenza pandemic to be moderate at this time, and that most cases of
the H1N1 virus worldwide thus far have not been serious or fatal. Nevertheless,
the pandemic is early in its evolution, and the severity of pandemics
can change over time and differ by location or population.

The most important first steps to prevent germs from spreading include
basic respiratory hygiene such as regular hand-washing, covering your
mouth and nose when you cough, and staying home if you are sick. Keep
supplies of alcohol-based hand cleansers available for your convenience.
Students, faculty and staff who feel ill are being instructed not to
go to class or to work, and to consult with their health care provider
immediately for testing and treatment. Testing and potential treatment
will be available for students at the Health and Wellness Center during
its normal operating hours.

The College has also expanded preventive measures, including signage
and public awareness efforts in the residence halls and common areas
on campus. We will hold on-campus vaccine clinics for seasonal
influenza as well as H1N1 (when the vaccines become available).

To keep possible flu cases from spreading on campus or in the community,
all individuals who visit the College Health and Wellness Center with
influenza-like symptoms of fever with cough or sore throat will be masked
and screened. If individuals are identified as at-risk of having
H1N1 influenza, they will be evaluated by a health-care provider. Individuals
who test positive or are diagnosed as infected with Influenza will be
asked to arrange for private car transportation home.  No student
or community member who is exhibiting symptoms of influenza should use
any form of public transportation. In rare instances only, students who
are unable to travel home will be allowed to stay in the residence halls.  When
possible the infected student will be housed in a room that allows for
as much social distancing from other students as possible. Meals
and health care will continue to be available in the student's room or
in designated facilities. Any faculty, staff or student who
is ill should remain off campus or in isolation until 24 hours after
their fever breaks. Students will need to obtain a note from their
personal physician or a Health and Wellness Center provider before returning
to campus.

The academic department and faculty will work to permit students to make
up missed work whenever possible. All students who become ill should
contact their personal medical provider or the Health and Wellness Center
as soon as possible and notify the Student Life Department of their illness.
This can be done by e-mailing mdubendris@sjceme.edu.

While we hope our preventive measures under way will help to minimize
disease on campus, the College is prepared to respond prudently and swiftly
to cases of H1N1 influenza in our community. Our emergency communications
plan includes notification by Connect-Ed, campus e-mail, and our web
site. If you have not already done so, please be sure to update your
emergency contact information on connect-Ed at http://sigma.sjcme.edu/mysjc/index.aspx.

We will continue to provide information updates on our web site at http://www.sjcme.edu/student-life/health
We urge you to check the web site regularly for the most up-to-date information.