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H1N1 : Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated - February 22, 2010

Influenza continues to circulate at normal levels on campus and in Kingston.

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

Everyone is encouraged to get this shot, as well as the seasonal flu shot. This is the best way to avoid getting sick. Both vaccines are available to students by appointment at Student Health Services

Please continue to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer and cough and sneeze into your sleeve to reduce the spread of illness.

Updated academic guidelines for faculty were distributed February 22, 2010.

Are there cases of H1N1 at Queen's?

There were a few cases of H1N1 on campus in spring 2009, and the virus returned to campus in the fall -- it was the flu's season predominant strain. People who feel sick are encouraged to stay home and seek information about treatment and when to seek medical attention

Who is most vulnerable?

H1N1 seems to affect younger people more than the seasonal flu.  As well, medical experts have identified vulnerable groups who are at higher risk of getting a more severe case of H1N1.

Why does the flu spread so easily on a University campus?

Many students, faculty and staff get sick every fall. Influenza is more readily transmitted in environments like universities where people spend time together in close proximity, for example in classrooms, and in residences where people share bathrooms and eat together.

Most individuals with the flu stay at home or in their rooms for several days and get better.

How has Queen's prepared for an outbreak of flu, including H1N1?

We have been closely partnering with public health authorities to ensure the health and well-being of students, staff and faculty.

Posters that illustrate proper hand washing technique and coughing and sneezing etiquette were visible in most campus buildings.

Additional hand sanitizer stations were installed in more high traffic locations across campus.

We have stockpiled smaller hand sanitizer pumps.

Hand sanitizer kits were distributed to all departments on campus.

Cleaning in residences and campus buildings was stepped up.

Information about the flu has been communicated to faculty, staff and students through:

The University's Emergency Management Plan would provide the framework for responding to any major outbreak.

How would Queen's decide when to implement the Emergency Management Plan?

Illness rates on campus were tracked over the fall. The University remained in regular contact with the KFL&A Health Unit and received updates on the spread of influenza in the community.

This information would trigger the escalation of the University's response.

University operations have been continuing as usual.

Would classes or the academic semester be affected by an H1N1 outbreak?

Medical documentation was not required from students who needed to miss an exam in December 2009 due to severe illness. Click here for more details and specific faculty requirements in lieu of medical documentation.

Instructors were provided with guidance about how to prepare for larger-than-usual numbers of students and/or faculty and staff who may get the flu during the semester or during exams. This guidance was updated on February 22, 2010 in a memo to faculty from the V-P Academic.

The federal government released guidelines for post-secondary institutions that were integrated into our planning. 

Any decision to cancel classes, exams or close the university would be based on the current situation and direction from local health authorities.

Are there any current restrictions on travel?

Not at this time. But all off-campus travel should be organized in consultation with the University's Off-Campus Activity Safety Policy.

You should also check in with information from Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs about the country you are considering traveling to.

Other useful sites include:

When will the flu vaccine be available for students, faculty and staff?

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

The H1N1 vaccine as well as the seasonal flu shot are available to students by appointment at Student Health Services

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

What HR policies are in place to assist staff and their managers with decisions about absence if they or their family members become ill?

How is Queen's reaching students?

Will students in residence be moved if they are sick?

How can parents stay informed about the status of H1N1 on campus?





Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000