As faculty members, you are important partners in Washington and Lee's efforts to address the challenges of the current H1N1 influenza.
In the first instance, the University encourages all employees to observe the recommended practices to avoid the flu and to stay home when experiencing flu-like illness. If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever (100°F) is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
Employees who are living with someone who has the flu may still go about their normal work and school activities, as long as they are not symptomatic themselves. These employees should monitor their health every day, and take everyday precautions including washing their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. Faculty who have an underlying medical condition or who are pregnant should call their health care provider for advice, because they might need to receive influenza antiviral drugs to prevent illness.
If you encounter students who appear ill, please advise them to:
While we recognize that class attendance is vital to meet our academic mission, the CDC, in its latest guidance for colleges and universities, notes that it is important than students who are ill with influenza not feel pressure from faculty to attend class or to take examinations while still symptomatic and potentially infectious. The University respectfully requests that you consider being flexible with your class attendance and make-up-work requirements for students affected by the H1N1 virus. If the number of students absent becomes excessive, we may have to consider technological assistance for delivering and interacting with course content.
In addition, faculty should not require doctor's notes to validate their illness or return to class since doctor's offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and may not be able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
Washington and Lee has pre-registered for the vaccine, but we do not yet know when it will be available or whether, upon receiving it, we will have enough for faculty. Consequently, faculty should be in contact with their health care providers to receive vaccinations for both seasonal and H1N1 flu.