May 5, 2009
N1H1 (formerly Swine Flu) Information Update
We have been continuing to monitor the swine flu situation in our county, and we have some good news. The CDC has revised their recommendations at this time, and all schools in the county that had been previously closed will reopen. Please visit the County Health Services webpage for the latest information on the influenza outbreak.
This does not mean that the flu threat is not still present; it only means that perhaps closing schools is not the best way to deal with this threat. We are still encouraged to do everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus. As a precautionary measure, we are installing sanitizer dispensers in each of the campus buildings to provide an extra layer of protection for students and staff. These will be installed early next week. We are also placing signage in all of the campus restrooms reminding students and staff to wash their hands thoroughly (and for at least 20 seconds - enough time to sing "happy birthday" twice) to help prevent the spread of any influenza virus.
We are continuing to add new information to our webpage as it becomes available (DVC Swine Flu updates). Our website has links to local information (Contra Costa Health Services) as well as national (Center for Disease Control - CDC), and international (World Health Organization - WHO).
There is a lot of information about the N1H1 flu virus, how you can protect yourselves, when to seek medical attention, and much more. We encourage you to familiarize yourselves with this information and share it widely with your students. The public health organizations are now saying that your most important defense against this flu outbreak is to take personal responsibility by staying home when you are sick, covering your cough, washing your hands frequently, avoiding contact with sick people, and following the other tips on the above web pages for keeping yourself healthy.
Because we had to think about the possibility of a campus closure over the last couple of days, we identified a few things that are important to think about in the event of any campus crisis that may require closure. For example, if the campus were to close, no one would be permitted to return to campus, not even just to pick up a file, or water a few plants. Also, please talk to your manager about what duties you might be expected to perform from home, in the event of a campus closure, and what you might need to have with you or have access to.
Stay tuned to our website: www.dvc.edu
In the event that we need to communicate with the campus community in a crisis situation, we will do so via the DVC website. We are also providing the opportunity for students and staff to opt in to the Constant Contact email system with a home email address or cell phone number so that we can notify the campus community of updated emergency information. (More on this will follow soon.)