Public Health Practices

One-page 'Mitigation Menu' created during H1N1 simplified communications and gave agencies current countermeasure recommendations

Oregon developed a menu of influenza mitigation options to help agencies, healthcare providers, and schools make emergency decisions.

Students Developed Housing Plan in Response to H1N1

The 2009 H1N1 pandemic flu outbreak forced the University of Chicago to make immediate housing plans after the flu virus was first identified in California and Mexico. So, when H1N1 hit in 2009, two things happened that influenced their response strategy immediately, said Dr. Kristine Bordenave, director of the Student Care Center (SCC): One, the university had one of the first H1N1 infections in the nation, a hospital staff member; and two, the timing of the academic year.

HR guidance development

A University of Illinois infectious disease work group worked with departments and unions to develop guidelines for handling employee illness during H1N1.

Self-Isolation: The Family Home Option

The University of Illinois describes its H1N1 response as successful, largely due to its comprehensive approach to identifying and isolating ill students. Often, ill students recovered under the watchful eyes of their parents.

Online Class Absence Form for Flu-Like Illness

Students across the country were encouraged to stay home and out of classes if they became ill with influenza. The University of Iowa already had an online form ("Explanatory Statement for Absence from Class") that asks for, among other things, information on whether a student visited a doctor and whether someone can vouch for the fact the student was ill.

Self-Isolation: The On-Campus Option

Although the University of Illinois was able to send many H1N1-infected students home to recover with their parents, an on-campus option was needed. Illinois has among the most international students of any college campus in the United States, said Jim Rooney, EDD, Associate Director of Housing. More than 2,700 of those students are undergraduates, who tend to live on campus.

Open Letter to Athletic Directors and Coaches

During H1N1 response, the Minnesota Department of Health convened periodic conference calls with all higher education institutions in Minnesota. This was the first time that direct communication has been organized between the state health department and higher education. During the calls, the Minnesota State Epidemiologist provided H1N1 updates, answered questions, and requested reports from institutions on status and challenges.

Facemask and N95 Respirator Recommendations

This recommendations document was developed to provide education and guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for H1N1 pandemic influenza in the face of confusing, and sometimes conflicting, guidance from federal agencies.

Phone monitoring of students with ILI

During H1N1, Pennsylvania State University health providers monitored ill students daily by phone or through secure electronic messages.

State of Emergency Policy

The University of Minnesota developed a policy that outlines how the president or designee, in accordance with the University Emergency Operations Plan, may determine circumstances that would necessitate the declaration of a University State of Emergency, or change in standard operations, either to limit exposure through "social distancing," or as a result of extremely high rates of absenteeism, related to pandemic influenza.

Public engagement on social distancing and mass fatalities

An Ohio university held urban community engagement meetings on social distancing policies and rural meetings on mass fatalities management.

Protecting Voters at the Polls

The Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) took a number of steps to prevent the spread of H1N1 during the Nov. 3, 2009 election. The SBE prepared by using a number of existing communication and outreach techniques, including hosting a conference call with electoral board members, general registrars, and Dr. Diane Helentjaris of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to hear her suggestions for election planning.

K-12 School Closure Guidance

Two years before the emergence of novel H1N1 virus, Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) formed a unique partnership with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to collaborate on pandemic influenza preparedness efforts.

Barron County Court System: Strategies for a Pandemic Influenza

A collaborative effort between public health and local courts resulted in a document that aims to prepare the court system for an influenza pandemic. The guidance provides a local judicial system with a thorough and succinct overview of guidelines, procedures, and specific directions to follow during a pandemic. Guidelines are built on the premise that a local court system must maintain its functional operations during an emergency to ensure justice for the people.

Community Disease Containment Toolbox

The Toolbox addresses Kansas' approach to community disease containment. The first reviewer described this practice as complete and aligned with other state plans. Another reviewer said it provides thorough guidance from the state to community level on Pandemic Flu Mitigation measures, aside from pharmaceuticals. The second reviewer also noted this plan appropriately leaves some details to be determined at the community level.

Policy Analysis CollaborativE (PACE) (National)

A valuable large-scale, public engagement initiative focused on community control measures for pandemic influenza is represented in these reports. The initiative featured a host of collaborating partners, making it a good example of public-private partnerships. Likewise, it also is focused heavily on creating meaningful interactions with citizens and stakeholder representatives to help shape health policy.

Family Assistance Approach to Mass Fatalities (National)

The Family Assistance White Paper was written by a largely military working group to address how social distancing during a pandemic may affect traditional mass fatality management. The report includes discussion about how to set up a virtual family assistance center that would allow family members to identify and mourn a body and receive emotional support without being physically present on-site during a pandemic.

Isolation and Quarantine in Alexandria

The Isolation and Quarantine section of Alexandria's pandemic plan provides a detailed summary of a city's strategy for invoking and enforcing isolation and quarantine for any contagious disease that poses a public health threat.

Hamilton County preparation project

An Ohio county developed risk assessments and community preparedness materials for schools, houses of worship, and public safety agencies.

Pandemic planning guide for homeless shelters

The guide for homeless shelters and housing service providers presents a basic, pragmatic, and concise approach to addressing the needs of a vulnerable and often forgotten segment of the population. It contains appropriate assumptions and planning elements to assist homeless and housing service providers in preparing and continuing to care for the homeless during a pandemic.

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