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Influenza control guidelines for all UW-Madison workplaces

October 7, 2009, 3:10 pm

UW-Madison has adopted guidelines, based on CDC recommendations, detailing the conditions in which it will ask sick people to stay home, sick customers or clients to go home, covering coughs and sneezes and use of masks and respirators.

Read the guidelines (PDF) or visit Campus Planning Documents for additional information on masks and respirators.

Posted in Campus updates, Faculty and staff info, Health precautions

Seasonal flu shot options available for students, faculty, staff

September 23, 2009, 6:09 am

Many local health care providers and community clinics have started offering vaccinations against seasonal influenza — the “regular” flu shots that many people get every year.

Seasonal flu shots do not provide any protection against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus that has been linked to the current outbreak on campus. However, they are formulated to be protective against other strains that may circulate later this year.

To limit the spread of disease in the community, all faculty, staff and students are encouraged to get a seasonal flu shot every year.

On Sept. 21, University Health Services (UHS) began offering free seasonal flu shots for all registered UW-Madison students. Flu shots are available without an appointment from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday on the sixth floor of 333 East Campus Mall, and on selected dates in certain residence hall locations. For more information, including a complete schedule of satellite clinics, click here.

Seasonal flu shot clinics for UW-Madison employees will be provided at 12 campus locations beginning Monday, Nov. 3, and running through Friday, Nov. 14. Download the full calendar of campus clinics (PDF). Read more »

Posted in Campus updates, Faculty and staff info, Health precautions, Student info

A message from DOA Secretary Michael Morgan

September 17, 2009, 11:09 am

Note: The following message is being distributed to state employees from Department of Administration Secretary Michael Morgan

The flu season is expected to last through the fall, winter and early spring. This time it is predicted that seasonal influenza viruses and the 2009 H1N1 flu virus will be affecting Wisconsin citizens at the same time.

Read more »

Posted in Campus updates, Faculty and staff info, Health precautions

Updated: Human resources guidelines for UW-Madison employees, supervisors

September 11, 2009, 8:09 pm

The Office of Human Resources has prepared a set of UW-Madison guidelines for how flu-like symptoms should be handled in the workplace. The guidelines outlined in the documents are now in effect.

The key component of the guidelines involves telling employees to either stay home or go home if they have flu-like symptoms (fever greater than 100 degrees and either sore throat or cough). An employee’s return to the workplace is predicated on being fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. The standards were developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition, the university will not ask for employees to routinely secure a health care provider justification when they indicate a flu-like illness. Update: On Sept. 11, the Board of Regents granted a temporary waiver of the policy requiring a doctor’s note for absences of more than five days. The cover memo and guidelines have been updated to reflect the change.

Read the Human Resources Cover Memo (PDF).

Read the Flu Pandemic Planning HR Guidelines (PDF).

Posted in Email messages to campus, Faculty and staff info

Student influenza cases appear at UW-Madison

September 3, 2009, 10:09 am

As has been widely expected, UW-Madison officials have received reports this week that some students have come down with symptoms characteristic of influenza.

University Health Services (UHS) has also begun seeing more patients than usual for this time of year with flu-like symptoms (including fever and cough or sore throat).

“This is what we’ve prepared for,” says Sarah Van Orman, MD, executive director of UHS. “This is also what many other schools around the country are experiencing, and this is why every member of the campus has received at least one message about influenza precautions and preparedness in the past week. Read more »

Posted in Faculty and staff info, Health precautions, Parent info, Student info

Guidance on flu-related absences for students, faculty and staff

August 31, 2009, 4:08 pm

UW-Madison Provost Paul M. DeLuca, Jr., Dean of Students Lori Berquam and University Health Services Director Sarah Van Orman sent students, faculty and staff guidance Monday on how Influenza-related absences should be handled during the coming academic year.

In general, students, faculty and staff are advised not to attend class or work if suffering from flu-like symptoms. Students should be excused from assignments and classes, with the expectation that work is made up within a reasonable amount of time. Medical excuses will not be given by ODOS or UHS, nor should they be requested by faculty.

Faculty and instructional staff members are urged to discuss the handling of influenza issues during an early class meeting this week.

Read Provost DeLuca’s message to faculty and staff.

Read the message from Dean Lori Berquam and UHS Director Sarah Van Orman to students.

Posted in Academic updates, Email messages to campus, Faculty and staff info, Student info

Provost Paul DeLuca: Student Absences and H1N1 Influenza

August 31, 2009, 4:08 pm

Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

Following up on Chancellor Martin’s e-mail to the campus community last week, I want to emphasize the unique challenges that H1N1 influenza preparations present to you as educators and to the entire academic side of the university. Please take a few minutes to read this message carefully.

I recognize that preparing for the start of the academic term is a challenge in itself, without your having to devise contingency plans for class-absentee rates that may be higher than usual or for the possibility that you might have to miss a week of class yourself, or without having to think creatively about ways instruction could continue from afar if social-distancing strategies were implemented.

However, the campus pandemic response plan requires your active engagement to succeed. As we embark on this semester, there are four important actions you can take to help mitigate the spread of disease:

— First and foremost, stay home when you’re sick, and tell your students and graduate assistants that you expect them to do the same. Students should not be encouraged to “tough it out” and come to class when they’re sick. Neither should you.

To limit the spread of disease, everyone on campus must consider it prudent to stay home from work and class at the first sign of influenza symptoms (fever of 100 degrees F/37.8 degrees C or higher with cough or sore throat) until at least 24 hours after they have been completely fever-free (without fever-reducing medication). For most people, this takes three to five days (health care workers must stay out for a minimum of seven days from symptom onset).

In an early class meeting, please alert your students how you want them to communicate with you if they have to miss classes or a deadline due to illness. They are being reminded in other campus messages that they will be responsible for getting class notes that they have missed and for making up assignments or exams within a reasonable period of time. Also, tell them where they will find course material online if class meetings can’t be held.

— Do not ask students for medical excuses for illness-related absences. Neither University Health Services (UHS) nor the Offices of the Dean of Students will provide these notes, nor should they be expected.

To support isolation of ill people, the campus has adopted the policy that it will not require medical excuses for students, faculty or staff absences from flu-like symptoms. Requiring such excuses makes compliance with isolation recommendations difficult and utilizes finite medical resources that are best directed to providing medical care. It is in keeping with recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for higher education, businesses and workplaces. This semester calls for trust in dealing with those affected by illness.

— While it’s important to take appropriate steps to limit the spread of infection, we don’t want to make you uncomfortable interacting with students or campus colleagues. Remember that a student may still sneeze in class due to allergies or cough due to a cold. Simply being in the same room with other people, even young people, is not considered a high-risk activity.

(If you have a condition that the CDC has linked to a higher risk of possible influenza complications, call your health care provider promptly if you have a “close contact” exposure with someone known to be infected. Medication may be recommended in some cases to prevent symptom onset. “High-risk” conditions include asthma or other chronic pulmonary disease; cancer; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; pregnancy; weakened immune system; or kidney, liver or neurological disorder. For more on high-risk conditions, download this CDC document (PDF).

— Support your own good health with frequent hand-washing and by trying to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Influenza virus spreads through close contact with respiratory droplets, which generally means touching a contaminated surface with your hands and then touching your hands to your face. These hygiene measures are among the most powerful precautions you can take for yourself, as it will be impossible for every surface to be disinfected every time anyone touches it.

If you have questions, e-mail

I appreciate your flexibility and leadership as we endeavor to make this unusual semester a productive one for all of our students.


Paul M. DeLuca Jr.
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Posted in Academic updates, Email messages to campus, Faculty and staff info

UW-Madison prepares for new semester with flu in mind

August 28, 2009, 12:08 pm

As University of Wisconsin-Madison students, faculty and staff prepare for next week’s start of the 2009-10 academic year, administrators and campus health officials are finalizing plans to manage an expected reemergence of the H1N1 influenza virus, or “swine flu.”

Flu activity is currently low in the United States, but based on the pattern of disease during the spring or summer, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) projects that the number of people who contract the disease could increase beginning this fall. College campuses are areas of special concern, as this strain of influenza has proven to be highly infectious in young adults.

Because new strains of influenza emerge from time to time, potentially causing disruptive outbreaks, a UW-Madison committee has been at work for the past several years, creating and refining plans for dealing with such a possibility. Read more »

Posted in Faculty and staff info, Health precautions, Parent info, Student info

Audio: Aug. 27 Influenza media briefing

August 28, 2009, 9:08 am

University Heath Services director Sarah Van Orman, M.D., and Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning Aaron Brower discuss UW-Madison’s preparations for H1N1, ways to stay healthy and important guidance about not coming to work or class when ill.

Read an edited transcript.

Listen to the show:

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You can also listen on iTunes U.

Posted in Academic updates, Faculty and staff info, Health precautions, Student info

A Message from Chancellor Biddy Martin

August 27, 2009, 1:08 pm

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has continued to track the spread of novel H1N1 influenza (“swine flu”) since the first cases were identified in the U.S. last April.

Based on the pattern of disease during the summer, the CDC projects that the number of people who contract this disease could increase dramatically beginning this fall. College campuses are areas of particular concern, as this strain of influenza has proven to be more infectious in young adults than the seasonal flu we typically experience. Read more »

Posted in Email messages to campus, Faculty and staff info, Health precautions, Parent info, Student info

What You Can Do About the Flu (PDF)

General questions about UW–Madison's response to flu issues? E-mail Pandemic Info Hub for answers.

Need urgent medical advice?
Students: Call UHS at (608) 265-5600

Faculty, staff: Contact your health care provider