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What SMU is doing about the flu

This page was last updated September 3, 2009

The State of Texas has activated the State Operations Center due to the threat of the flu, and SMU has responded by activating its emergency response plan. Steps taken by SMU include:

  1. Current information on flu cases at SMU and the steps being taken by the University to minimize the spread of the flu are posted on the SMU Flu website, as well as the Parents site. In addition, information updates are sent to all students, faculty and staff via e-mail.
  2. SMU participates in each briefing with the state and county health officials and tracks advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. SMU relies on the medical and scientific guidance shared in these forums to direct its actions.
  3. The SMU President's Executive Council has adopted the Recommended Flu Case Standards as suggested by CDC. Students, faculty and staff are being advised according to these standards.
  4. SMU Housing, Dining and Physical Plant is disinfecting common touch points like door handles, railings, elevator buttons, faucets, computer keyboards etc. Faculty and staff are being asked to undertake additional cleaning precautions, as well within their office spaces. (See Cleaning and Disinfection During a Pandemic)
  5. SMU has stockpiled quantities of masks, hand sanitizer and thermometers. The Health Center is distributing thermometers in the residence halls and masks are being given to infected students.
  6. SMU has preordered both seasonal and Novel H1N1 vaccine. Seasonal vaccine will be broadly distributed when available and Novel H1N1 to populations at risk.
  7. SMU is establishing an automated absentee management system that will allow students, faculty, and staff to self report their absence through a phone-in procedure. Such information will be helpful in scheduling classes and university programs.
  8. The Provost has issued policies for faculty regarding academic issues during a pandemic.
  9. Workplace accommodations will be handled on a case-by-case basis for high-risk employees, such as pregnant women or anyone with chronic illness or immuosuppression. See "Considerations for high-risk students, faculty and staff" in the Recommended Flu Case Standards.
  10. Travel abroad by students, faculty and staff is being monitored by the International Center and the Office of Risk Management.
  11. The University soon will begin monitoring the scheduling of large meetings and gatherings so it is prepared should social distancing be required or preferred by county health authorities.
  12. Faculty and staff are being urged to work with the Office of Information Technologies to devise alternate means of meeting or teaching in the event we are required to do so.
  13. SMU Human Resources has developed guidelines for staff who are absent because of the flu or must work from home. Please see "Guidelines from HR regarding a Flu Outbreak."
  14. SMU will soon launch an "SMU Aware" campaign to heighten awareness of the flu and provide other information related to health and safety.
  15. So that SMU can report accurate data to Dallas County about the number of flu cases, and also make informed decisions about University gatherings and facilities, those who become ill are being asked to complete the Absence Reporting Form.

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