(Updated January 12, 2010)
Notice of Change:
Effective immediately the policy released on September 23, 2009 on influenza like illness and a note from a doctor has been rescinded (e.g. “Faculty Guidance in response to Influenza during the 2009-2010 Academic Year”). Students in programs or courses where there is a requirement to produce a medical certificate to verify illness including influenza will once again need to follow this policy.
The 3rd wave of H1N1 is upon us and by all indications will be very mild causing little disruption to day to day activities at TRU. The Pandemic Preparedness Planning Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank the TRU community for their support during the fall semester for following the suggested prevention strategies and for accommodating students and colleagues who were ill with the flu. It is important to continue to practice frequent hand washing, use the hand sanitizer stations, and to use appropriate coughing etiquette in order to remain healthy.
Guidance for Students in Response to Influenza
During the 2009-2010 Academic Year
There has been much in the media about Pandemic Influenza (H1N1) and more recently about influenza and educational institutions. The flu season will last through the fall and winter. More than one kind of flu virus will be spreading this season, including seasonal flu and the 2009 H1N1 flu. Thompson Rivers University has prepared for the potential impact that pandemic influenza may have on the 2009-2010 academic year. The university has the following priorities for this coming school year:
- To preserve and protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of all members of the University community.
- To continue to operate as normally as possible to minimize the disruption of instruction, research, and the day to day activities in the workplace.
- To provide responsive communication to all members of the University community during and post pandemic influenza.
The influenza virus is spread easily from person to person (e.g. through coughing and sneezing) and can survive on some surfaces for several hours or days. It is important to follow these simple steps to minimize the spread of the influenza virus and to keep the university community healthy:
- Practice good hygiene. Wash hands frequently with soap and water, especially after coughing, sneezing, or contacting high-touch surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, elevator buttons, tables, and keyboards).
- Practice respiratory etiquette. Use a tissue when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets as this is the main way that flu is spread from person to person. If a tissue is not available then cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. The flu virus is spread this way.
- Self-isolate (stay home) if sick with flu like symptoms. Remain home, except to seek medical care, for 7 days from the onset of symptoms.
- Stay away from social gatherings (e.g. concerts, sporting events, or hanging out with friends) if sick with flu like symptoms.
- If you have concerns or questions related to the symptoms you are experiencing Call HealthLink BC at 811 to talk to a nurse. This service is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
If there are any significant changes related to the operation of the university during the 2009-2010 academic year these messages will be communicated by e-mail (mytru account), the TRU webpage, and through local media. Have a healthy and productive school year.
Joanne Jones, Coordinator of Pandemic Preparedness at TRU
TRU coordination team
Lynn Joly - AVP, Human Resources & Planning (Chair)
Joanne Jones - Nursing (Pandemic Planning Coordinator)
Stacey Jyrkkanen - Occupational Health & Safety Manager
Physicians from TRU Medical Clinic
Rick Browning - Director, Human Resources
Baihua Chadwick - Acting Director, TRU World
Jan Petrar - TRU World representative
Peter Hilton - Vice-Provost, Students
Nancy Twynam - Manager, Judicial Affairs
Diana Skoglund - Public Relations (external communications)
Brian Mackay - Chief Information Officer
Les Tabata - Director, Facilities
Gerard Hayes - Residence liaison
Michael Ching'anda - TRU residence
Mark Wolosky - McGill Housing
World Health Organization http://www.who.int/en/
Public Health Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/2009/hsf-mexico-090427-eng.php
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/
Ministry of Health, BC http://www.gov.bc.ca/health/
Interior Health Authority (IHA) http://www.interiorhealth.ca/
Emergency pandemic planning kit http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/pandemic/pdf/emergencykit.pdf