NMSU homepage EH&S (home)

Meeting Summary

Communicable Disease Preparedness Committee
Previous Meeting

August 11
, 2009

Next Meeting

Meeting Agenda     Mtg Summary (pdf)    Email reminder

Members Present:

Billy Dictson, Randey Bamford, Mike O’Larey Lori McKee, Katrina Doolittle, Lorin Gobble, John Balog, Michael Abernethy, Sidney Webb, Nancy Baptiste, Ronald Fisher, Julie Weber, Jeff Witte, Manuela Quezada-Aragon, Sara Miller, Connie DeBlieck, Alfred Valdez, Benjamin Diven

Members Absent:

Darrell Smith, Tammy Anthony, Rene Yoder, Joe Palmer, Teresa Burgin, Amy Collins, Pamela Schultz, Angela Arvizo, Albert Parra, Ida Baca, Stephen Lopez, Carmen Gonzales, Marry Simmons,

The meeting began at 3:08 PM.


II. The meeting summary of the June 9, 2009 meeting were accepted without comment or revision.

III. Old Business
a. Policy was adopted July 14, 2009 by Admin Council defining Essential Position Designation in 2.25 Emergency Preparedness of the NMSU Policy Manual.
b.Continuity of Operation Plans – Updated CoOP were submitted by the NMDA, Health Sciences, Government, Animal & Range Sciences.
ii.Electronic tool –UC Ready update. R. Bamford stated that this is an on-line questionnaire to asses and create recovery and CoOPs. Thre are multiple steps that prompt the user to answer questions that results in an organized plan. The fee for the application to be hosted by an off-site server is about $4200.00 to set up and about $2600.00 annually to maintain. The cost of obtaining a server is about $2500.00 if hosted locally or regionally rather than at UC Berkeley. K. Doolittle noted that a budget source still needs to be determined to support this CoOP tool.

c. EH&S offering CoOP presentation for Department Heads – Emergency Management overview along with details on CoOPlanning will be presented to College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Agriculture Extension Services and the College of Education this September.

d. Executive Seminar: Prevention of and Response to, and Recovery from Campus Emergencies. A tentative date of November 3& 4, 2010 has been set to convene this presentation at NMSU. The CART is the targeted audience, but others will need to be recruited to meet the 30 person minimum required by the sponsoring entity.

e. Warehouse for central stock of supplies (N95, surgical masks gloves, sanitizer) – L. McKee stated that she has ordered N-95 respirators, hand sanitizer and wipes for use at the health centers. Purchasing hand sanitizers to be stationed in high-pedestrian use lobbies and building entrances was discussed. The decision was left to OF&S and central administration on whether or not to proceed. L. McKee recommended bulk purchasing of hand sanitizers from Wal Mart or other distributors to get the best price. She also reminded everyone that hand washing with a mild detergent soap is sufficient and that products containing anti-microbial compounds are not necessary to achieve hand sanitization. She distributed posters urging NMSU students and employees “Don’t be scared, be prepared”. The posters mention signs and symptoms of influenza, how to prepare oneself, and inform on prevention and treatment. The posters will be strategically placed throughout campus as well as distributed as a pdf document via HOTLINE email and available on the Health Center webpage.

f. Bookstore for central stock personal hygiene products (sanitizers, tissues, care products). Tabled

g. Communication of allowance for tissue and hand sanitizer purchase w/dept funds- Business procedures manual updated. L. Gobble stated that purchasing these products is an eligible departmental expenditure.

IV. New Business

a. H1N1 update – Benjamin Diven – Chief Medical Officer. B. Diven reported regional discrepancies in the southern hemisphere between the spread of seasonal influenza and novel A/H1N1 influenza viruses. He noted that there is a potential for media sensationalism of an outbreak. He said epidemiological data suggest that the symptoms of novel influenza infection are most pronounced at 72 hours post infection while symptoms of seasonal influenza are most pronounced at 96 to 128 hours post infection. He stated the possibility that novel influenza is likely to re-emerge in the northern hemisphere early in the fall, and may persist into the seasonal flu season that traditionally begins in November. L.Mckee informed that key strategies to reduce spread of illness include self-isolation of symptomatic persons, avoiding touching the face, especially around the nose and mouth, and always practicing diligent hand washing technique at every opportunity. Symptoms are best treated with ibuprofen and that acetaminophen (aspirin and asprin-containing products) not be used to treat symptoms. B. Diven cautioned that aspirin is suspected to cause Reye’s Syndrome (swelling of the brain and liver) in children and teenagers recovering from pneumonia. K. Doolittle and L. McKee commented that personal responsibility is essential if we are to successfully combat the spread of both seasonal and novel influenza outbreaks at NMSU by practicing self-isolation, staying home from work and avoid large public gatherings when ill.

b. Mass Vaccination –

i. Seasonal Flu and H1N1.  L. Mckee announced the seasonal flu vaccine clinic for insured employees will be held the week of October 19, 2009 in Academic Research Unit C, room 110 – the EH&S training room. The cost of the seasonal flu vaccine is covered for employees insured through the university. Additional vaccines for Tuberculosis, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B, will be available as well at the clinic. L. McKee will provide the link to sign-up on-line through the Benefits Office.

ii. Vaccination against novel A/H1N1 influenza – L. McKee noted clinics will be scheduled pending announcement of the availability of the vaccine. She provided the CDC prioritization for vaccination against the novel A/H1N1 virus as 1) pregnant women, 2) primary care providers of infants less than 6 months old, 3) Emergency response and healthcare personnel, and 4) persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years. It was noted that education is the most effective tool in combating the spread of this novel influenza virus

c. Revised CD Response Plan. K. Doolittle announced that the revised plan would be presented to Admin Council in September so comment were due by Friday August 14. The following changes to the communicable disease response plan :
i. The reference to the distribution of N-95 respirators campus-wide was removed and the plan now states that N-95 respirators will be available for healthcare delivery personnel and those caring for ill persons.

ii.All departments must disseminate educational materials provided and promote self isolation of ill persons and use of distance learning capabilities where possible. Also personnel are advised to increase cleaning of common work areas and supervisors are to report high volume absenteeism through their respective Dean or Vice-president.

iii. NMSU Level “0” and the World Health Organization pandemic flu levels have been deleted from the plan.

iv. HR should anticipate questions re: Provisions for work from home. K. Doolittle stated that telework, telecommuting and distance learning needs to be used. L. Gobble stated that by policy, tele-work is permitted only at Level 3 and will clarify with D. Stuart. L. McKee commented that sick children and childcare providers will impact absenteeism among affected NMSU personnel. N. Baptiste asked if supervisors were to insist persons with limited leave stay home from work. L. McKee responded yes, persons need to self-isolate until 24 hours after symptoms have resolved. This was especially important for employees of child care areas. HR needs to provide guidance on time-keeping.

v. Departments are expected to communicate about planning and policy matters within their division, department or office and to disseminate flu prevention and mitigation strategies.
d. Hand Sanitizer stations. K. Doolittle stated that most institutions were installing hand sanitizer stations in high-pedestrian traffic areas of building lobbies and entrances and suggested NMSU follow same standard. Opened for discussion: R. Fisher stated that he didn’t believe the stations would be used by all persons entering a building. N. Quezada-Aragon stated that she did not observe visitors using hand sanitizer provided in hospital lobbies and waiting areas. L. McKee stated the product may not be available at this late date. So when asked for motion, the committee did not move or recommend installing hand sanitizing stations.

e.Seasonal influenza vaccine: L. McKee asked if the committee would recommend the University provide seasonal influenza vaccine for uninsured personnel, noting that it would be a good preventative measure and that supplies are expected to be plentiful. S. Webb strongly supported the suggestion. He noted that Memorial Medical Center will host a free-flu vaccine clinic and that Mountain View Hospital is likely to follow suit. He said mass vaccination would reduce the spread of the virus, noting that the A/H1N1 virus is expected to emerge in our area well in advance of the availability of the expected vaccine. L. Gobble suggested that this suggestion be vetted through HR for potential conflict with bargaining unit obligations. L. McKee noted that vaccinations of dependents of insured employees are also covered.

f. Medical Reserve: L. McKee stated she is recruiting licensed persons (EMT, RN, LPN) from academic departments to assist with the H1N1 vaccine clinics. She submitted a request for 23,000 doses of A/H1N1 vaccine to provide for NMSU personnel state-wide. She noted that two doses are needed to confer immunity. S. Webb noted that the Point of Distribution (POD) plan efficiently manages the process from crowd control, paper work, and patient observation (vaccines are observed for 15 minutes afterward and then permitted to exit).

g. Items from CDPC members – meet monthly through December.

The meeting adjourned at 4:00PM

The next meeting is Tuesday September 8 at 3:00PM.

More Safety News

Contact Information 
 Environmental Health& Safety: MSC-3578, P.O. Box 30001, Academic Research Bldg. C, Rm. 109
    Street delivery address: NMSU, 1620 Standley Dr., Academic Research Bldg. C, Las Cruces, NM 88003
    Training Office: Academic Research Unit C, rm110 (see map ), 
    Telephone: 575-646-3327; FAX: 575-646-7898. Website - http://www.nmsu.edu/safety
    Send email to David Shearer, EH&S (click here) with questions or comments about this web site. 
This page was last updated on 08/08/2008