President Patricia McGuire and Maureen Baxter, director of Health Services, have issued advisories to the Trinity community to keep Trinity flu-free this year.
Message from President McGuire
Director of Health Services Maureen Baxter has prepared an excellent plan for addressing the potential for flu among members of the Trinity campus population this fall. I am writing to reinforce her simple directions and to urge all members of the community to cooperate in keeping Trinity’s campus flu-free this year! Please see Ms. Baxter’s message below for additional information.
The simplest ways to avoid flu of any kind this fall are these:
- Wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizers, and do not sneeze onto your hands or into the air – use tissues or, if need be, your sleeve. We have placed hand sanitizers around the campus, and we urge you to carry your own as well.
- If you believe you have the flu, stay home. If you have been diagnosed with the flu by your own health care provider, please notify Health Services at 202/884-9615 so that we can take appropriate precautions on campus as well.
- We will provide isolation rooms for resident students who develop the flu who otherwise might not be able to go home. Residence Life staff will have flu kits to provide some basic comforts to students who become ill, and we have a plan in place for food service delivery and sanitizing rooms.
- Seasonal flu vaccine will be available in Health Services shortly — watch Ms. Baxter’s announcements. You should definitely get this vaccine, and this is before the H1N1 flu vaccine.
- The vaccine for H1N1 virus — popularly called the “swine flu” — will be available later in October. This vaccine will be distributed by the government on a predetermined schedule. Persons between the ages of 6 months and 25 years will get preference since these are the at-risk populations for this version of the flu. Watch Ms. Baxter’s announcements for this vaccine.
- Facilities Services will be taking extra steps to be sure that all common areas are clean and sanitized as often as possible; you can do your part by practicing good habits to avoid flu, including maintaining a reasonable personal space, washing your hands, and otherwise following the simple flu-avoidance practices.
We will keep the campus informed as flu season evolves. Thank you for helping to keep everyone at Trinity healthy!
Message to Trinity Students from Maureen Baxter, Director of Health Services
The Health and Wellness Center is hoping that you have a healthy semester! We are open for students daily from Monday through Friday, on the fourth floor of Main Hall. Every morning, between 8:30 am and 12:00 noon, students can walk in, without an appointment. Students can call x9615, to make an appointment during afternoon hours.
Like everyone else, we hope to avoid the seasonal and H1N1 (swine) flu. We are working closely with the D.C. Health Department to monitor flu conditions and make decisions about the best steps to take concerning Trinity. We will keep you updated with new information as it becomes available to us.
For now, here are a few things you can do to help:
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective. You will see many new hand sanitizer stations throughout the campus.
- Practice respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; germs are spread this way.
- Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. A fever is a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. Look for possible signs of fever: if the person feels very warm, has a flushed appearance, or is sweating or shivering.
- If you have flu or flu-like illness, stay away from campus for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen). If you are a residential student, come to the Health Center. Don’t go to class or work until someone examines you. Dean Meechie Bowie will assist you in working with faculty if you miss classes (x9611).
- If you have been diagnosed with the flu by your own health care provider, please notify Health Services at 202/884-9615 so that we can take appropriate precautions on campus as well.
- Get vaccinated for seasonal flu. (There is no cost to students who have Trinity insurance). We expect to start vaccinating students, faculty and staff next week. I
- If you are at higher risk for flu complications from 2009 H1N1 flu, you should consider getting the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available. People at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 flu complications include pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes). H1N1 is currently occurring more often in those aged 6 months to 24 years. For more information about priority groups for vaccination, visit the CDC web site.
- Find ways to increase social distances (the space between people) in classrooms such as moving desks farther apart, leaving empty seats between students, and generally avoiding hugs and handshakes.
- Extend the time you stay home or in the dorm. During severe flu conditions sick people should stay home for at least 5 days, even if they feel better sooner. Those who are still sick after 5 days should continue to stay home until at least 24 hours after symptoms have gone away. Symptoms of flu include fever or chills and cough or sore throat. In addition, symptoms of flu can include runny nose, body aches, headache, tiredness, diarrhea, or vomiting.
For the most up-to-date information on flu, visit www.flu.gov, or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636).
The Health Center is open to students Monday through Friday from 8:30 am until 12:00 noon for walk-in visits. No appointment is necessary. Call x9615 to schedule an afternoon appointment.
We will notify you of any additional changes to Trinity’s strategy to prevent the spread of flu on campus.