Employees—Flu Information

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Augustana continues to urge everyone to receive flu shots (for both H1N1 flu and seasonal flu) as an effective measure to prevent the spread of flu-like illnesses. We continue to anticipate a likely wave of flu later this winter and/or early spring.

For faculty/staff/students:
An H1N1 flu vaccination event is scheduled for Thursday, January 28, at MariCar Community Center, 400 North Valley View Road in Sioux Falls. This flu shot clinic will run from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. and is free to the public.

Friday, December 11, 2009

H1N1 Flu Shots Available On-Campus

Augustana will host an H1N1 flu vaccination clinic in the Morrison Commons (Back Alley) on Tuesday, December 15, from 1:00-6:00 p.m. This public health event is sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Health along with Sanford Health, Avera Health and Regional Health. This December 15 flu clinic is the College’s second major opportunity for students to receive H1N1 flu vaccine this fall semester. H1N1 flu shots are completely voluntary, and there is no charge for the vaccination. Because the vaccine is being made available free of charge by the SD Department of Health, this flu clinic is open to the public.

Augustana urges everyone to receive flu shots as an effective measure to prevent the spread of flu-like-illnesses. This is a particularly important time for students to be immunized as most will be travelling over the holiday break—including many students who will be travelling and studying abroad during January Term and Spring Semester.

The College reminds students that seasonal flu shots are also available on-campus at Student Health & Counseling Services (refer to the December 3, advisory, below). The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that any individual who previously suffered from a suspected case of H1N1 without a lab confirmation should still receive the H1N1 vaccine.

To speed up the vaccination process on Tuesday, December 15, you are encouraged to complete the “Flu Vaccination Clinic Information Form.” Bring the completed form to the flu clinic. Blank forms will also be available on Tuesday in the Back Alley.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Here is the most current information available concerning flu shots for students, faculty and staff. The vaccine for both strains of the flu (seasonal and H1N1) is strongly recommended as a primary prevention for “Influenza-Like-Illnesses.

Seasonal Flu Shots
Effective immediately, seasonal flu vaccine is available for students. Flu shots are available in the Student Health & Counseling Office (located in Solberg Hall). Medical staff will be available from 8:30-1:00 and 1:30-2:30 weekdays.

The cost of the shot is $13.60 and will be billed to your Augie account. You cannot bill this to insurance.

H1N1 Flu Shots
Two flu clinics with free H1N1 vaccine are scheduled for December 3, in Sioux Falls at Washington High School and Roosevelt High School. The flu shots will be available beginning at 4:30 and ending at 8:00 p.m. (or earlier if the vaccine supply is run out). The Health Department expects that each high school site will have 800 to 900 doses of vaccine. Health officials ask that you not arrive before 4:15 p.m.

The distribution of the vaccine is on a first-come, first-served basis. You will need to bring personal identification and be prepared to answer a few health-related questions. These public flu clinics are for anyone 6 months to 24 years, adults 25 to 64 with chronic conditions, pregnant women, health and emergency workers, and caregivers of infants under 6 months.

Augustana College expects that H1N1 vaccine will again be made available to all students, faculty and staff in the near future when the SD Department of Health receives vaccine for the entire population.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A limited number (500 doses) of H1N1 nasal mist and injection-type vaccines will be offered on Thursday, November 12, 2009. The vaccines will be distributed from 2:00 through 6:00 p.m. (or until the supply runs out) in the Morrison Commons’ Back Alley. The distribution of the vaccine is on a first-come, first-served basis. You will need to bring your Augie I.D. and be prepared to answer a few health-related questions.

The South Dakota Department of Health is making the H1N1 vaccine free to Augustana College. Because the supply is limited, the vaccine will be given to those who meet the Centers for Disease Control’s high-risk priority groups defined as Tier 1 and Tier 2 priorities – see below.

  • Tier 1: pregnant women, students/faculty/staff in healthcare settings
  • Tier 2: students (24 yrs and younger), persons of any age with a health condition that put them in a higher risk for flu related complications

We recommend that most people should be vaccinated with the H1N1 vaccine regardless of whether they had a flu-like illness earlier in the semester. If you had H1N1 flu, confirmed by an RT-PCR test, you should have some immunity and can choose not to get the H1N1 vaccine. It is important for you to be aware that any immunity from a previous H1N1 influenza infection or vaccination will not provide protection against the seasonal flu. For protection from seasonal flu, you should still get the seasonal flu vaccine.

This week’s shipment of H1N1 vaccine is the first to be received by the College. Augustana expects to receive additional supplies of H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines this fall semester.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

After experiencing a major wave of flu-like illnesses on the campus in the past 7-10 days, we believe that the number of illnesses has peaked for at least the present time. Reported cases of the flu have decreased in the past 24 hours as we prepare for a welcomed mid-semester break (October 24-27). Furthermore, we are seeing that students who have been ill earlier are recovering in less than a week.

Many have inquired about the availability for flu shots. The following information provides you with an overview about flu vaccination opportunities on our campus. As more detailed information becomes available in the near future, we’ll communicate this immediately on the Web site.

  1. Augustana ran out of the seasonal flu vaccine more than two weeks ago. We expect to have vaccine available for students by mid-November.
  2. Members of the College’s Flu Task Force met with representatives of an emergency preparedness task force within our local community to determine potential dates and a location to administer the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccine since Augustana has a large target population. Target populations are groups identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which should receive the 2009 H1N1 vaccine when it is available to the College. In general, people ages six months to 24 years are identified as a target population.
  3. A flu shot clinic will be scheduled on-campus in early- to mid-November.
  4. We can expect that students and staff, ages 24 years or younger, and others identified in high risk health groups can receive the H1N1 vaccine at no charge.

Augustana reminds everyone that vigilance is still needed even if the risk for contracting the flu appears low right now. Public health officials urge all of us to remember the flu risk has not passed, nor has it hit its peak. We still believe that the normal seasonal flu season (November through February) will affect all of us at Augustana College. Please continue to use the same good practices that have protected you and limited the spread of the flu virus to others.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The following information was emailed by Jim Bies.

Beginning late last week, the College began to see a significant increase of students experiencing flu-like illnesses. Already this week, about 100 students are reported to be ill with the flu and we expect that number to increase in the next few days. Our on-campus Health Service has doubled their staffing and extended their hours to meet the growing need for health care.

The College is recommending that students who are experiencing flu-like illnesses go home to recover if conditions and distance is reasonable. This allows them to be more comfortable and helps keep other Augustana students, faculty and staff from getting sick.

For those unable to go home, we are recommending that students self-isolate in their room or other local housing. This also means that ill students should not be attending class, eating in the dining room or Huddle, or going to on- or off-campus jobs. Our residence life staff is assisting “well” students to identify temporary housing. The dining services staff is also preparing take-out meals (sick trays).

Because our on-campus health service is seeing such as larger number of students, our best intention to communicate with faculty about flu-related absences from class is not possible at this time. Therefore, we are requesting that ill students make contact (e-mail) with faculty as soon as they can. Both Health Services and Dean of Students Office are maintaining a log of students who have been diagnosed with the flu and/or have communicated with us about their illness. Faculty members, feel free to contact my office if you would like information about specific student absences.

Finally, you are encouraged to notify the College if you or others are experiencing a flu-like illness. Please inform us by sending an e-mail to goodhealth@augie.edu.

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009

The following information was emailed by Amy Meyers.

Thank you to all who attended the Employee Flu Shot Event on Tuesday. Over 270 seasonal influenza vaccinations were given to employees and their spouses. If you were unable to attend the on-campus flu shot opportunity, you can contact your local clinic or visit a Lewis or Walgreens pharmacy for flu shot clinics. Walgreens and Lewis can give flu shots to adults only and will only bill Medicare.

Note: The seasonal flu vaccine will help protect you from the dangers of the seasonal flu. The seasonal flu vaccine will not protect you from the H1N1 virus. A vaccine for this virus will not be distributed until October.

Additional Information Regarding the Flu

The flu season is upon us. Although we have not seen any diagnosed cases of H1N1, we have seen flu-like illness on-campus. We urge all employees to Protect Yourself, Report Illness and Assist Students.

Protect Yourself….

1. Practice good hand hygiene - wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are effective.

2. Cover mouth and nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder; not into your hands.

3. Stay away from others if you experience flu-like symptoms. This will prevent others from getting sick. If you are sick with the flu, avoid close contact with others - do not attend class, college activities or work until you have been fever-free (without the use of fever reducing medications) for at least 24 hours.

***Hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes are available for your protection. If you would like hand sanitizer and/or sanitizing wipes for use in your office or classroom please contact your Division Secretary.***

Report Illness…

To assist us in determining the extent to which the flu (both seasonal and H1N1 strains) is affecting our campus, we are implementing a surveillance system to track the number of flu-like illnesses as a part of a national effort sponsored by the CDC and American College Health Association.

If you are diagnosed with seasonal influenza or H1N1 or are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please contact your division secretary or manager immediately. In an effort to assess the impact of the flu on our campus we request that faculty and staff (or their managers and division secretaries) report departmental absenteeism due to flu-like illness to the Student Health and Counseling Center via phone 605.274.5552 or goodhealth@augie.edu. Remember, reporting of staff illness is important for monitoring illness trends as well as working to limit transmission.

Assist Students…

Faculty and staff can assist with monitoring efforts by strongly encouraging students who call in sick to visit the Student Health and Counseling Center if they are experiencing any flu-like illnesses. For privacy reasons, we ask that you not ask students to report their symptoms directly to you.

The Augustana College flu task force continues to monitor the H1N1 flu situation. We have been and will continue to post flu advisories on the College's website. 

Thank you for your cooperation.

Monday, Sept. 14, 2009

The following information was emailed.

Time to get your flu shot! All (age 18 and over) are welcome. No appointment is needed.

What: Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Clinic
Who: All staff, spouses, and dependents age 18 and over
Where: Siverson Lounge - Commons
When: Tuesday, September 15 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cost: Free to those covered under the Sanford Health Plan (those not covered can get the flu shot for $22.00). Bring your insurance card with you. Sanford will not bill Medicare for the flu shot.

No appointment is needed.

Other Important Information:

The seasonal vaccine is being offered early this year due to recommendations by state health officials. This year’s seasonal flu vaccine is designed to limit the dangers of the seasonal flu for a year.

This vaccine will not provide protection against H1N1 (formally known as the “swine flu”). A vaccine for the H1N1 flu is not yet available.

Sanford Occupational Health will be providing and administering the flu vaccine. They are unable to administer the vaccine to those under age 18. If you have dependents age 18 and under you should contact your clinic for an appointment. Children under age 18 are able to obtain the vaccination free of charge through a state funded program.

The price of the vaccine has changed due to added administration fees and added cost of the vaccine itself. Sanford Occupation Health is providing Augustana employees (who are not covered under the Sanford Health Plan) a discounted rate of $22.00 per vaccine. Walgreens and other local businesses are charging between $25 and $30 for the vaccine.

Cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure testing will be offered on October 13. More information will be emailed regarding this screening opportunity in the next few weeks.

For more information contact your Employee Health Nurse at amy.meyers@augie.edu or visit www.augie.edu/flu or www.cdc.gov/flu.

Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009

The following information was emailed.

Faculty,

We received a recent health advisory from the SD Department of Health suggesting that we should expect more than 500 students to experience a flu-like illness this fall. The seriousness of this situation requires faculty and supervisors to practice flexibility related to class and absence policies and work attendance during this potential health situation. Department Chairs are to ensure that updated flu information is disseminated to adjunct faculty. The health and safety of Augustana students and staff are paramount and I know that each of you will do your best to accommodate students, including helping them to makeup missed work due to illness. I urge all faculty and supervisors to work with their students and staff to ensure that flu health guidelines are implemented. Current flu information is posted at www.augie.edu/flu.

To assist us in determining the extent to which the flu (both seasonal and H1N1 strains) is affecting our campus, we are implementing a surveillance system to track the number of flu-like illnesses as a part of a national effort sponsored by the CDC and American College Health Association. Faculty can assist with monitoring efforts by strongly encouraging students who call in sick to visit Student Health & Counseling Services if they are experiencing any flu-like illness. For privacy reasons, we ask that you not ask students to report their symptoms directly to you.

Faculty and staff are also to notify the Student Health & Counseling Services of flu-like illness in order to provide accurate surveillance information and to more closely monitor the extent of flu-like illness on campus.

Contact information for Student Health & Counseling Services:
Phone: 605.274.5552
E-mail: goodhealth@augie.edu

Thank you for working cooperatively with students and co-workers as we get through this flu season. And please—wash your hands often and do your best to stay well. But if you become ill, don't be a hero. Stay home and recuperate for a day or two. We will do our best to cover classes for each other.

Mark Braun, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College
Augustana College
2001 South Summit Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57197
Office: 605.274.5417
Fax: 605.274.4450
email: braun@augie.edu

Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009

The following information has been emailed to employees.

The severity of this year’s flu season is unpredictable. It is anticipated that more communities will be affected and transmission will be greater than last year.

Since last spring, an Augustana College task force has monitored the H1N1 Flu situation and continues to monitor, prepare and educate as the new school year begins. In an effort to reduce illness, Augustana has taken measures to inform students and staff. We have been and will continue to post flu advisories on the College's website. We urge you to click on the following website for flu updates www.augie.edu/flu .

The following information provides you with the current public health information from The Centers for Disease Control and the South Dakota Department of Health as of today. We anticipate that there may be some potential for change with the flu shot availability and other public health department information. So please, check the flu advisory Web site on a regular basis.

Protect yourself…

With fall semester classes beginning, we continue to emphasize the importance of practicing effective personal hygiene to prevent illness such as seasonal flu (influenza) and H1N1 (formally known as “swine flu”). Listed below are the three most effective ways to keep from getting sick with the flu.

  • Practice good hand hygiene - wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are effective.
  • Cover mouth and nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder; not into your hands.
  • Staying away from others if you experience flu-like symptoms will prevent others from getting sick. If you are sick with the flu, avoid close contact with others - do not attend class, college activities or work.

If you have flu-like symptoms…

We are advising persons experiencing flu-like illness to self-isolate in their residence hall room, home or other residence. Isolation should last for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever of 100° Fahrenheit (38° Celsius) or signs of a fever such as chills, flushed appearance, or sweating. This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications such as any medicine containing ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).

If you are diagnosed with seasonal influenza or H1N1 please contact your division secretary or manager immediately. In an effort to assess the impact of the flu on our campus we request that faculty and staff (or their managers and division secretaries) report departmental absenteeism due to flu-like illness to Student Health and Counseling via phone 605.274.5552 or goodhealth@augie.edu. Remember, reporting of staff illness is important for monitoring illness trends as well as working to limit transmission.

If a student is experiencing flu-like symptoms…

Students who are experiencing flu-like symptoms should contact Student Health and Counseling immediately (605.274.5552). The Augustana task force is working on a policy for student excused absence from class due to flu-like illness.

Vaccination and additional information…

We will offer on-campus seasonal flu vaccination opportunities for both employees and their families on October 13 (more information will be e-mailed). We expect that a H1N1 Flu vaccine will be available in late October or early November. A shipment of vaccine will be provided by the South Dakota Department of Health for Augustana students age 24 and under. At this time, it is our understanding that this free vaccine from the SD Department of Health is designated for college students only. Employees who wish to receive the H1N1 vaccine will need to consult their physicians.
It is recommended that people wait 14-30 days between the influenza vaccine and H1N1 vaccine. Vaccination details for both strains of flu will be released as soon as information is available.

Dates to remember…

Mid- to Late-October—Individuals at “high-risk” including Augustana Students age 24 and under can obtain H1N1 vaccine.

October 13—Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Opportunity at Augustana for employees and their family members. Cholesterol, Blood Sugar and Body Mass Index Testing will also be offered.

October 27—Anticipated first opportunity to acquire H1N1 vaccine at your healthcare provider. It is our understanding that if you receive a seasonal flu shot, there may be a be 2-4 week waiting period between the seasonal and H1N1 flu shots (specific details regarding the “waiting” period between vaccinations has not yet been determined).

Please contact Amy Meyers at extension 4726 for any questions.