2013 Influenza Communication to Faculty and Staff
The University of Minnesota, like the state and the rest of the country, is experiencing the effects of seasonal influenza. This message includes information about preventing the spread of flu and what to do if you are sick. It also contains important information for faculty about student illness and class absences.
Prevention and treatment
Influenza is an upper respiratory infection and can be very serious. Symptoms tend to come on quickly and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, and extreme tiredness. This is not a "stomach flu," which includes nausea and vomiting. We have provided a web page with information about prevention and treatment if you become ill.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommend that everyone over six months of age be vaccinated. If you have not yet been vaccinated, Boynton Health Service is offering free vaccination clinics. Alternatively, contact your healthcare provider.
If you are concerned about influenza exposure in the workplace, talk with your supervisor. You may also contact your local or central human resources representative to discuss concerns.
If you become ill with influenza, stay home. Each of us has a responsibility to take care of ourselves and to protect other staff, students, and faculty from exposure. Return to work once you have been fever free for 24 hours without using any fever-reducing medicine.
If you have children who become ill, call your supervisor to report that you need to stay home, just as you would any other time your children are ill.
Information for instructors
When spring semester begins on January 22, we expect a number of students to be ill with influenza. We are asking you for your flexibility in accommodating students who become ill during this flu season.
Effective January 18, the University has temporarily suspended the requirement for a doctor's note for excused absences from class due to illness. (See the policy on makeup work for legitimate absences, item 3, regarding excused absences from class due to illness.) This change is being made to ensure that those who develop flu-like symptoms are encouraged to stay home and recover and to protect the health of our campus community.
This means that if a student informs you that he or she has the flu, you should excuse the student's absence(s) until he or she is well enough to return to class. Please review this policy and note that students are responsible for making up any work missed in class due to illness.
For students who are ill, the University is also temporarily suspending the University's policy requiring mandatory attendance at the first class session.
Should a student inform you that he or she is sick and will miss the first day, please hold the student's seat in the class; students are expected to communicate with you about their inability to attend the first class and about their expected return date.
Students were sent an email on January 18 reminding them to stay home if they are ill with flu-like symptoms, and to not return to class until they have been fever free for 24 hours without using any fever-reducing medicine.
Thank you for your support and flexibility and for helping to support the health of our campus community.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Vice President for Human Resources