September 9, 2009
Dear SPU Parent,
As concerns about the H1N1 virus (swine flu) rise, Seattle Pacific University seeks to inform parents and guardians of plans and precautions underway to protect our students.
The University began to address these issues last spring. We will continue our communication with regular updates to our website, reflecting the most current information as it becomes available.
Prevention Is Key
As is the case with many health-related issues, prevention is a key factor. This is a significant issue with H1N1. Here are a few suggestions:
- Good hand hygiene. Washing hands thoroughly and often with soap and water is important. Additionally, alcohol-based hand cleaners are effective.
- Respiratory etiquette. Covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing reduces the spread of germs and the virus. Use a tissue (once only) or the crook of one’s elbow, not one’s hands. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth as germs are easily spread this way.
- Signs and symptoms. SPU’s Health Services provides helpful information regarding the signs and symptoms of the flu. Health Services staff is available for diagnosis of and treatment for serious illness.
- Self-isolate if ill. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggest that students with flu-like illness limit their interactions with others, except to seek medical attention.
SPU is making other preparations for students affected by H1N1.
- Faculty education. Faculty members are receiving education on the H1N1 virus and how it may affect the classroom. Les Steele, vice president of academic affairs, will send an email to all faculty regarding symptoms of H1N1, student absenteeism, and alternative educational delivery options.
- On-campus housing plans. Residence Life and Housing is preparing for students living on campus who may contract flu-like illness. Identifying and checking in with students who may be ill is important. Those who have flu-like symptoms will be encouraged to self-isolate until they are free from a fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. If you have a student living on campus who becomes ill, please ask your student to contact a hall staff member -- either a peer advisor (PA) or residence life coordinator (RLC).
- Meal-service options. University Services is working with our dining service provider, Sodexho, to provide “flu trays” for students with flu-like illness and who have a valid meal plan. Have your student check with a hall staff member or dining services personnel for assistance. For students without meal plans, flu trays will be available on campus at the C-Store for purchase. Additionally, Sodexho has taken measures to reduce the spread of germs, providing hand sanitizers in the dining commons and touch-surface sanitizing to help prevent the spread of the flu.
- Increased sanitization. SPU’s facilities staff will continue to be diligent in cleaning and providing products for the health of our community. More than 70 hand sanitizing dispensers have been placed in common areas around campus. Restroom soap dispensers are filled with antibacterial soap. Campus offices have alcohol-based hand solutions available in reception areas. Public areas will continue to receive attention for cleaning to prevent the spread of germs.
Partner With Us
Although you are not present on campus, we ask that you partner with us to keep your student healthy.
- Flu kits. Make sure your student comes to campus with a flu kit. Contents for a flu kit (PDF) are available on the Health Center’s website.
- Self isolation. If your student contracts flu-like symptoms and lives close to campus, consider bringing him or her home for a short period of time. The CDC suggests that students self-isolate for 24 hours AFTER they no longer have a fever (or signs of a fever) without the use of fever-reducing medication.
- Existing conditions. If your student has a medical condition that increases the risk of severe illness from the flu, ask him or her to seek medical attention promptly.
Providing current information and recommendations are of significant importance as we address the concerns presented by the H1N1 virus. SPU Health Services continues to be the central source of this information for our campus community.
Visit SPU Health Services for more information and links. As necessary, the SPU administration will communicate with you.
We appreciate your partnership in these efforts to keep the SPU community healthy.
Director, Student Health Services
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dean of Student Life