Planning for a Pandemic
A message from the Vice-President: Finance & Administration
To the members of the Laurier Community:
As you may be aware, scientists, public health authorities and government officials have expressed concern that a pandemic could be sparked by a novel influenza virus if it mutates in a way that allows for sustainable transmission from person to person. In such a case, the influenza virus will spread rapidly throughout the world, making pandemic influenza a global threat and a global responsibility.
Because the population will not be immune to a new virus, it will affect more people and cause higher rates of illness and death than would the regular flu virus. Experts estimate that absences from work may be 30 to 35 percent or higher during the height of an influenza pandemic. Such a high absenteeism rate will make it challenging, if not impossible, for institutions to maintain current levels of service.
I want to assure our community here at Laurier that we have been developing an Influenza Response Plan so that we will be ready to respond quickly and appropriately should an influenza pandemic occur. In addition to ensuring critical services remain running during a pandemic, Laurier has a responsibility for the well-being of students, staff, faculty and visitors. So together with the Region of Waterloo Public Health Officials we are working to make our institution ready to respond quickly and appropriately to the occurrence of an influenza pandemic. We are also following the latest developments by monitoring the World Health Organization and Ministry of Health and Health Canada's websites and updates, maintaining an open line of communication with our Public Health Officials and benchmarking the activities of other colleges and universities.
Our Influenza Response Plan is designed to provide education and awareness of the threat of a pandemic. It also helps ensure on-campus health care providers and first responders are prepared to take action by offering ongoing education about influenza, rehearsing emergency drills, and having medical supplies and equipment readily available. Continuity of Operations plans have been put in place for all key departments, and an Academic Disruption policy has been developed.
We also have an appropriate array of pandemic response roles in order to facilitate the efficient mobilization and coordination of University resources. The Plan will therefore maximize efforts to provide life-safety, protection of property, preservation of financial stability, and the safeguarding of research initiatives and related animal care.
Our education initiatives began with the launch of this website. We encourage everyone to check the site frequently to stay informed and updated on the pandemic situation.
If you have any other concerns or questions, please call or email Environmental/Occupational Health & Safety or Health Services.
Vice-President: Finance & Administration
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