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Meeting Summary

Communicable Disease Preparedness Committee
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September 8
, 2009

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September 8, 2009 Meeting Summary

 Members Present: Angela Arvizo, Teresa Burgin, Amy Collins, Pamela Schultz, Darrell Smith, Bobby Ann Dictson (for Billy Dictson), Randey Bamford, Mike O’Larey,  Lori McKee, Andrew Bowen (for Stephen Lopez), Katrina Doolittle, Joe Palmer, Lorin Gobble, John Balog by telephone, Renette Apodaca (for Michael Abernethy), Sidney Webb, Nancy Baptiste,  Ronald Fisher (for Timothy Dobson), Julie Weber, Jeff Witte, Manuela Quezada-Aragon, Sara Miller, Connie DeBlieck, Benjamin Diven, Rene Yoder

 Guests: Cathy Fleischacken, Marianne Panzini-Rosenth, Jaime Fisher, Brian Lara, Luanne Greene, Minerva Baumann, Lori Tompkins, Jacklyn Ryberg, Jennifer Grider, Erica Tinsley, Kris Martinez, Iris Mullins 

Members Absent: Tammy Anthony, Albert Parra, Ida Baca, Carmen Gonzales, Marry Simmons,  Alfred Valdez,

 The meeting began at 3:08 PM.

I.      K. Doolittle invited attendees to introduce themselves.
The meeting summary of August 11, 2009 was accepted without comment or revisio
Old Business K. Doolittle stated that there was no new Continuity of Operation Plans submitted since August meeting.

       IV.      New Business

a.  K. Doolittle stated that on Sept 1 the University Executive Committee (UEC) was briefed by Dr. Diven, L. McKee and herself on the communicable disease response plan and current H1N1 and at the request of  the UEC,  Admin Council was similarly briefed this morning. L. McKee stated that she taped an interview with KVIA, the ABC affiliate from El Paso earlier in the day regarding NMSU planning efforts.  K. Doolittle said there is a lot of information to be disseminated.  She stated that the Provost asked that faculty, staff and students be informed on how take precautions and make accommodations in the event of high absenteeism.

          V.      Update on H1N1

L. McKee stated that A/ H1N1 influenza “is all around us” and that there had been 11 cases of influenza like illnesses (ILI) diagnosed at the Health Center.  The Health Center is testing for type A influenza but there are no confirmed A/H1N1 influenza or type A flu at this time.  She quoted CDC observations that said the duration of the illness appears to be brief, a couple of days of illness and then recovery.  She said universities of Washington State, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Mississippi reported ILI case loads in the hundreds.  She reported that the Health Centers have a triage procedure in place and that both web sites have been updated with current information.  She expressed confidence in the plan.  She is working with the School of Nursing on vaccination plans.   H1N1 influenza vaccine is still in testing phase. There will be a seasonal influenza vaccine (and other immunizations will be offered) clinic on October 19-23 for anyone enrolled in the NMSU health plan.  She will publicize the Memorial Medical Center and Mountain View Hospital free public influenza vaccinations when the dates are finalized.  B. Diven noted that the rapid flu test is used to test specimens.  

S. Webb said he hasn’t seen a patient with the flu. L. McKee summarized the symptoms as runny nose, fever, sore throat and body aches.  She said that bed rest until the symptoms subside is the best way to deal with the illness.   She also said posters on influenza preparedness and education for faculty and students have been put up in conspicuous locations throughout campus, including the residence halls. Additional posters are available from the health center upon request.  The posters and other information resources were on display in the Corbett Center gallery over the past week.

 K. Doolittle said that departments need to track absenteeism and report high numbers of absent workers through their Dean or Vice-President office as there is no automated way to obtain this data.  She also noted that NMSU policy does not require a medical release to return to work after being out sick for three or more days and asked that supervisors encourage ill persons to stay home from work.  

       VI.      Hand Sanitizer stations

K. Doolittle stated that the CDC is recommending installation of hand sanitizer stations in public areas.  The President and Provost support installation of these stations.  She said we are working with Purchasing on product selection.  R. Apodaca said Purchasing has found a vendor who could supply the product and they are getting price quotes.  K. Doolittle wants to establish a work group (OFS, EH&S, Purchasing) to facilitate this project.  R. Fisher said all restrooms have anti-bacterial soap, and they are staging large bottles of hand sanitizers in lobby areas of building that are serviced by OF&S.  L. McKee said Sam’s Club has 1L bottles of hand sanitizer for sale at $6.76/bottle.  She said it is important to promote good hand hygiene.  K. Doolittle said DACC has installed hand sanitizer stations throughout their buildings.  Campus dining has adopted a similar strategy in placing hand sanitizers at eateries around campus.  

 J. Weber said that high-traffic areas in residence halls are equipped with hand sanitizers.  She also said cleaning kits will be provided to ill persons isolated in resident halls.

    VII.      Education

L. McKee introduced M. Panzini-Rosenth from NMSU Nursing Department.  She said that 300 undergraduate and 100 graduate nursing students will assist with the mass vaccination clinics.  L. McKee said they’d vaccinate students in their residence halls, and then do other remote sites for a period of 4 or 5 hours over days rather than using the Pan American Center for a mass-vaccination on a single date.  The Immunization POD committee has contacted community colleges in Grants, Alamogordo, and Carlsbad and learned that they will provide vaccinations locally and work with their local health departments.  There may be no need for vaccine to be shipped from Las Cruces.  She is expecting H1N1 vaccine to be delivered by the end of October. 

 L. McKee noted that in addition to nurses, other professional personnel and students from DACC and NMSU will contribute to medical records management, hospitality, and other support functions on an as needed basis.  There have been no local confirmed cases of A/H1N1 influenza as of September 8.  L. McKee stated that while the virus has yet to infect large numbers of people locally, the first publicized case is likely to move people to take action to protect themselves.  A brief poll of students on campus revealed that most are aware of but not overly concerned about A/H1N1 influenza.

 She said it was critical to use the next 7 or 8 weeks to educate the public on hand hygiene.   She also noted that should there be an A/H1N1 influenza outbreak before the vaccine becomes widely available, there may not be a need to vaccinate a lot of people.  

 K. Doolittle asked that Dr. Diven send mass distribution email encouraging the NMSU community to practice appropriate precautions to stay well and stay home if ill.

 K. Doolittle asked for volunteers to participate in a Work Group to develop and recommend a tracking tool and that expertise from HR and ICT would probably be useful.  R. Bamford, T. Bergin and R. Yoder volunteered to serve on this work group with R. Bamford taking the lead.  L. McKee said they can provide data on illnesses by keeping track of ill persons who telephone for assistance and those walk-in patients exhibiting ILI. 

 K. Doolittle invited comments from attendees.  Many persons commented on details of preparations in their respective areas. 

·         Palmer state dining Services are acquiring additional food storage space and making plans to deliver of meals to ill persons in the residence halls. 

·         Weber noted that Housing and Residential Life has two plans, Plan A and Plan B.  The preferred plan (Plan A) would be to isolate ill persons in their suite rather than their have them relocate to dedicated isolation facilities.  Plan B is to sequester ill persons separate from asymptomatic persons in an alternate location.   

·         Bowen distributed Police Department critical tasks checklist for H1N1 outbreak that is prepared for their staff.   They are stocked for 30 days worth of PPE, to supply PD only.

·         Dictson talked about their extension programs to reach youth and adults to get information on food and personal hygiene to the community.

·         Bamford noted ICT as a core service that is expected to continue so their plan allows work from home and increased use of hand sanitizers for routine work on computers.

·         Baptiste stated that information has been provided to families of children to make them aware of the precautions to take.

·         Panzini-Rosenth talked about Department of Health targeting student population to assess knowledge and interest in the H1N1.

·         Burgin asked for additional flu prevention posters for computer labs.

·         Webb talked about the team and training as they are preparing for vaccine Point of Distribution.

·         O’Larey noted additional precautions for reviewing athletes, travel and providing hand sanitizers and additional cleaning. 

·         Smith reiterated training and provisions for PPE and hygiene.

·         Apodaca stated they were discussing with Purchasing staff the department’s plans and reinforcing prevention strategies.

·         Collins promoted the value of incorporating knowledge about disease prevention into the classroom by having health related student projects centered around H1N1.   Teresa Brandon was noted for incorporating this approach into the Public and Community Health Programs at DACC.

·         Arvizo noted Dean of Students preparing to address family concerns and updating contacts.  Preparedness information is being incorporated in her University 150 class.

·         Ryberg noted increased cleansing of telephones, keyboards and multi-use areas in Nursing Department.

·         Baumann noted Univ. Communication staff has remote access capabilities to work off site and multiple backups for essential emergency communications.

·         McKee noted that the local flu season typically begins in February.

K. Doolittle said the next meeting would be on October 13 at 3:00PM.

The meeting adjourned at 3:55PM.

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