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Queen's University

Pandemic Preparedness

    Updated Academic Guidelines - February 22, 2010

    Memo to all Faculty, Department Heads and Deans from V-P Academic Patrick Deane:

    In fall 2009, I issued a memo addressing the considerations required to manage the H1N1 situation at the time.

    I encouraged academic units to develop their own detailed strategies on how to deal with the possibility of larger-than-usual numbers of students, staff and/or faculty becoming ill. It also requested that instructors forego requiring medical documentation of student illness during these extenuating circumstances because requiring visits to medical clinics will overload the clinics, place additional strain on already ill students, and potentially increase transmission of the flu virus.

    This memo is to inform you that I have been advised by the Director of Environmental Health and Safety at Queen's that the H1N1 levels are back to normal and your regular practices should be reinstated for dealing with absences related to illness.

    Frequently Asked Questions - updated February 22, 2010

    Where can I get the vaccine?

    The H1N1 shot and the seasonal flu shot are available to students by appointment at Student Health Services.

    More than 2,300 students, faculty and staff were vaccinated against H1N1 at Queen's H1N1 flu shot clinic held on November 30 at Grant Hall.

    Although influenza-like illness at Queen's and in Kingston is back at normal levels, you are encouraged to get immunized; it's the best way to avoid getting sick.

    Where can I go if I need to see a doctor?

    If you are concerned about your symptoms, you are encouraged to call Telehealth or your family doctor before proceeding to their office or a clinic.

    Student Health Services is operating regular hours for students. 

    If your symptoms are severe -- for example, if you experience shortness of breath -- go to the nearest hospital emergency department. 

    Hotel Dieu Hospital - Urgent Care Clinic - Daily 8am - 10pm

    Kingston General Hospital - Emergency Department - 24/7

    What can instructors do to prepare for larger-than-usual numbers of students who get the flu?

    All instructors were asked to take time early in the fall semester to remind students about the potential for an increase in influenza on campus due to H1N1 and the importance of prevention.  Students are responsible for contacting their instructors about making up missed classes or assignments. Instructors continue to have discretion for academic decisions relating to their courses and are encouraged to outline the actions students should take if they do experience flu-like symptoms.  Instructors are also asked to reinforce that students will be provided with an opportunity to make up missed work, so that academic concerns do not prevent them from taking the time to completely recover. A short presentation about H1N1, how to prevent it, and what students should do if they feel ill, was made available for instructors’ use in class.

    If the University experiences a higher than normal level of absences, instructors are asked to be flexible and to consider a range of options to satisfy the essential requirements of their courses.

    Options may include but need not be limited to:
    · offering make-up labs and/or examinations;
    · offering take-home tests and/or assignments;
    · extending due dates for essays/assignments

    In circumstances where the instructor becomes ill, the following options may be considered:

    · arranging for lectures, labs and/or seminars to be presented by alternate instructors;
    · rescheduling lectures, labs and/or seminars;
    · rescheduling tests and/or midterms;
    · posting additional course materials on the web; and
    · podcasting lectures.

    What HR policies are in place to assist staff and their managers with decisions about absence due to influenza-like illness?

    Since influenza rates have returned to normal, departments can request medical documentation to support an employee's absence from work when necessary. (In the fall, this was not required due to increased levels of flu on campus.)
    Departments are no longer requested to track illness rates at this time.



    Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000