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Pandemic Planning

Infectious disease emergencies involve multiple patients or contacts. Response time during an outbreak is critical. Possible communicable diseases that could be life threatening include, but are not limited to, meningitis, hepatitis, tuberculosis, whooping cough and chickenpox.

Managing a Potential Influenza Pandemic

The University pandemic plan may be implemented to mitigate any communicable disease. The following assumptions have been made to manage a potential influenza pandemic, reduce transmission, decrease cases and deaths, maintain essential services, and reduce impact of the incident:

  • The main goal is the safety and health of students unable to travel home and for staff personnel who will remain at Capital to care for them.
  • When to seek care:
    • It is important for students who have temperatures of more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.8 degrees Celsius with a cough and/or sore throat to call the student health services for an appointment.
    • Students who have flu symptoms but also have chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, or heart problems also should call for an appointment.
    • If you are unsure as to whether you need to be seen by a healthcare provider, err on the side of caution and contact the Health Center to schedule an appointment.
    • Finally, if your condition worsens, you should seek care from an urgent-care facility or emergency room immediately.
  • Capital may be closed at the discretion of the president in consultation with various campus healthcare professionals and/or public health officials. The university also may be closed as mandated by the Columbus Health Department, the Franklin County Health Department, the Ohio Department of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
  • If Capital University is closed, only essential services will be expected to work and only essential buildings will remain open. All non-essential buildings will be closed for safety and economic purposes until further notice.

Steps to Follow

  • Implement infection control policies and procedures to help limit the spread of influenza at Capital, including:
    • Frequent hand washing
    • Proper coughing etiquette
    • Encouragement of annual influenza vaccines
    • Maintaining adequate amounts of infection prevention supplies
    • Avoidance of larger gatherings
    • Staying home if you are sick
  • Report a suspected infectious disease outbreak to Department of Public Safety at 614-236-6666 as soon as possible. Public Safety will contact the Center for Health and Wellness at 614-236-6114.
  • Report the nature of the illness and the approximate number of persons affected.
  • If imminent danger is apparent, contact 911.
  • Protect yourself from infection. Do not have physical contact with the infected person or their belongings.
  • Do not leave campus until cleared to do so.