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(2009-2010 HR#2a) Pandemic Planning

Date:
August 4, 2009
To:
Principals, Deans, Academic Directors & Chairs; Professional & Managerial staff
From:
Angela Hildyard, Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity
Re:
Pandemic Planning

Local, national and international health agencies are predicting that the H1N1 influenza will be widespread this coming fall and winter. It has also become apparent that our students fall within an age group that is at higher risk for H1N1 than for the typical seasonal flu. The University has, therefore, brought together a number of planning groups to help us prepare for the potential for significant numbers of students, staff and faculty members to become ill or to have family members who are ill.

Some examples of our planning include the following:

A series of communications, including Q&As, for general as well as specific audiences. These will be posted on the University H1N1 website (http://www.preparedness.utoronto.ca/), which also has links to relevant public health sites.

The H1N1 Program Continuity Group, in conjunction with the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation will develop some strategies that faculty might incorporate into their course outlines in anticipation of the faculty member or students being unable to attend one or two classes.

Our residences are developing plans for supporting large numbers of students who may become sick and who are unable to return home while sick.

We are actively engaged in Business Continuity Planning so that key services can be maintained in the event that significant numbers of faculty and staff are absent.

We urge you to check the website on a regular basis. In the meantime, please remind all members of your department (a) that they should stay home if they are exhibiting any of the symptoms of H1N1 (see website); (b) that frequent hand cleansing is important; and (c) that coughing/sneezing into sleeves or tissues is best practice.