Most of the nation’s colleges and universities will be affected in some way by the H1N1A influenza virus in the 2009-10 academic year.

Colorado College is well positioned to deal with this virus, says Dr. Judith Reynolds, medical director at Boettcher Health Center. Six years ago when the SARS virus broke out, the college established an interdepartmental team to develop a strategy in the case of a flu pandemic. The group later evolved into the Emergency Management Planning Team (PreEMPT) and has been in place since then. PreEMPT was working on the college’s response to a pandemic long before the emergence of the H1N1A virus was detected last spring. Before the beginning of the academic year, the group held weekly meetings for nearly two months to prepare for an influx of students arriving on campus from all over the United States and the world, most of them in the especially susceptible under-25 age group.

PreEMPT and the Boettcher Health Center are monitoring national and international H1N1A developments and continue to update the college’s approach as the situation evolves. Those students who become ill with H1N1A flu are asked to stay isolated in their campus residence until symptom free for 24 hours, following Centers for Disease Control guidelines. The staff at Boettcher Health Center assembled “flu kits” for ill students and their roommates. Additionally, Bon Appetit, the college’s food-service provider, delivers meals to ill students in the residence halls.

The college is actively promoting good hygiene among students, faculty, and staff. Hand sanitizer is provided in common areas of the campus, including the dining halls. All classrooms are stocked with hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, and masks. As Randy Stiles, chair of PreEMPT, notes, “The bottom-line message from Boettcher Health and the PreEMPT group is to be careful and don’t panic. However, the virus is quite contagious, so it is especially important that people pay attention to preventive measures.”

H1N1A at CC by the Numbers*

From Boettcher Health Center

Week 1 August 22-28 3 cases reported
Week 2 August 29-Sept 4 12 cases reported
Week 3 Sept. 5-11 13 cases reported
Week 4 Sept. 12-18 11 cases reported
Week 5 Sept. 19-25** 9 cases reported
Week 6 Sept. 26-Oct. 2 16 cases reported
Week 7 Oct. 3-9 20 cases reported
Week 8 Oct. 10-16 57 cases reported
Week 9 Oct. 17-23** 12 cases reported
Week 10 Oct. 24-30 8 cases reported

From the Purchasing Office

Number of calls to vendor(s): 32
Number of vendors solicited for bids on H1N1A supplies: 11
Number of vendors bidding on supplies: 7
Amount of hand sanitizer purchased: 222 2-liter bottles
Number of Clorox wipes purchased: 254 canisters
Number of masks purchased: 177 boxes

From Bon Appetit (Food Service)

Number of meals delivered to residence halls: More than 50

More information available at: www.coloradocollege.edu/flu

*As of Oct. 30.
** Block break week.

What’s Inside the “Flu Kit”?

Self-care Packages for Isolated Patients

1 tall kitchen drawstring garbage bag, which holds the following items:
1 box Kleenex
1 tub Clorox wipes
4 pair medium gloves
4 surgical masks
1 4-ounce bottle hand sanitizer
Package of five throat/cough lozenges
1 bottle nasal saline spray
1 bottle acetaminophen caplets
1 bottle ibuprofen caplets
1 box Mucinex
1 oral thermometer
CDC article “What to Do If You Get Flu-Like Symptoms”
Self-care instructions
Bon Appetit menu and instructions for ordering food for delivery to residence halls

The “Well Roommate Kit”

1 tub Clorox wipes
4 pair medium gloves
4 surgical masks
1 4-ounce bottle hand sanitizer
CDC article “What to Do If You Get Flu-Like Symptoms”