Guidance

H1N1 Flu Information and Guidance

For Leadership, Deans, Chairs, Directors, Managers, Faculty and Staff

As of September 1, 2009

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It is necessary to make an initial assessment of a faculty or staff member calling in with flu-like symptoms or who is at work exhibiting flu-like symptoms.  The following information is intended to assist when there are questions about H1N1.

The guidance related to the H1N1 flu is based on current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.

  1. What are the symptoms of the H1N1 flu?
    • Fever (greater than 100.4ºF) AND
    • Cough and/or sore throat
  2. What should be asked if a faculty or staff member calls in sick?
    • Ask the person if they have the following symptoms:
         Fever (100.4º F or greater)
          - If NO, do not proceed with questions – H1N1 flu unlikely
          - If YES, ask if they have any other symptoms such as cough and/or sore throat
  3. If a fever is present, strongly encourage them to:
    • Isolate themselves to keep from potentially exposing other people
    • Seek medical advice from their primary care provider
  4. What should happen if a faculty or staff member reports they have been confirmed as having H1N1 flu?
    • The faculty or staff member’s leader should contact CU Human Resources at 280-2913 for tracking purposes.
    • Currently, CDC guidelines state that it is generally acceptable to stay home for 24 hours after fever free (fever free without the use of fever reducing medication).  If symptoms become more severe or if a faculty or staff member is working in a health care environment, the exclusion period should be continued for 7 days from symptom onset or until the resolution of symptoms, whichever is longer.
  5. What should a faculty or staff member do if they would like a flu screening test?
    • The person who is experiencing flu-like symptoms should be advised to contact his/her primary care provider for testing and treatment recommendation as necessary.  The CDC does not recommend  everyone be tested or treated for H1N1.
  6. What if a faculty or staff member comes to work ill?
    • If a person has a fever and other flu-like symptoms, he/she should be sent home.
    • Strongly encourage them to:
      • Isolate themselves to keep from potentially exposing other people
      • Check with their health care provider about any special care they might need if they are pregnant or have a chronic health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or emphysema.
  7. If a faculty or staff member is sent home from work due to illness, how will he/she be paid?
    • The following options are available:
      • Use accrued sick hours.  If there is no accrued sick leave hours, vacation or holiday hours may be used.
      • Request an absence without pay
  8. If a faculty or staff member does not come to work for fear of becoming ill, is it required to approve the time off?
    • It is not required to approve the requested time.  If a staff member requests time off, the request must be approved in advance by his/her supervisor and vacation time must be used.  If a faculty member requests time off, the request must be approved in advance by his/her Dean.
  9. How does a faculty or staff member get paid if they have to stay home with a child who has     the H1N1 flu?
    • The following options are available:
      • Use accrued sick or vacation time hours
      • Request an absence without pay
      • Work from home, if possible, with supervisor approval
  10. Does the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) apply to the H1N1 flu?
    • If three consecutive days of work have been missed and medical attention has been sought during those three days, the person may apply for FMLA.  All FMLA regulations will apply and be administered by the Human Resources Department.
  11. What happens if a faculty or staff member that came to work last week with flu symptoms was suspected, probable, or confirmed as having the H1N1 flu?
    • Co-workers should be informed of their exposure to a person with confirmed, probable, or suspected H1N1 flu during the ill person’s infectious period.
    • Co-workers should be advised to monitor themselves for symptoms and to check with     his/her health care provider about any special care they might need if they are pregnant or have a chronic health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or emphysema.
  12. What preventive tips can everyone practice?
    • Encourage seasonal flu vaccination.
    • Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue in the     trash after use.
    • Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-    based hand cleaners are also effective.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
    • Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home for a week or so; a supply of over-the-counter medicines, alcohol-based hand rubs, tissues and other related items might be useful and help avoid the need to make trips out in public while you are sick and contagious.
  13. What can each of us do to protect ourselves from H1N1 flu?
    • Encourage sick people to stay home and away from the workplace.
    • Encourage infection control practices in the workplace by displaying posters that address and remind about proper hand washing, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette.
    • Ensure personal protective equipment is available to all healthcare employees.
    • Provide tissues, disinfectants, and disposable towels to clean their work surfaces, as well as appropriate disposal receptacles.
    • Share written guidance (email, etc.) on H1N1 flu in the workplace.
    • Disinfect commonly-touched hard surfaces in the workplace, such as work stations, counter tops, door knobs, and bathroom surfaces by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.
    • Receive H1N1 vaccination when available, if in the target groups identified by the CDC.