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Office of Continuing Legal and Professional Education

Chicago-Kent College of Law
H1N1 (Swine Flu) FAQ

GENERAL INFORMATION
FOR STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF

Introduction

If you become ill with symptoms of the flu, students should call Student Health Services at 312-567-7550 or their own doctor; faculty and staff should contact their doctor or other health care provider. In addition, please contact the appropriate person below so that we may keep track of the incidence of flu and flu-like illness in the IIT community and provide you with any needed assistance.

In addition to this section of general information for all members of the IIT community, there are additional sections later in this FAQ that address issues of particular concern to IIT staff and faculty.

Students: Jenna Abhijeet jabhijeet@kentlaw.edu 312-906-5005
Staff: Dawn Rupcich drupcich@kentlaw.edu 312-906-5100
Faculty : Stephen Sowle ssowle@kentlaw.edu 312-906-5282

What does IIT's planning entail?
What should I do if I think I have the flu?
What can I do to prevent getting H1N1 and the seasonal flu?
Should I get the H1N1 vaccination?
Should I get the seasonal flu vaccination?
What happens if the flu becomes more severe?
Will IIT cancel classes?
Will students be excused from class due to illness?
Who is at risk for H1N1?
Further Steps

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR IIT FACULTY AND STAFF
What should I do if I develop flu-like symptoms?
What type of leave is available to me if I am out for an extended period of time?
Must I have a doctor's release to return to work?
May my supervisor send me home if I exhibit flu-like symptoms at work?
A member of my family has the flu and I need to stay home to care for him/her
May employees be asked to perform other job duties than their regular job?
What if an employee becomes severely ill and cannot contact his/her supervisor?
If the H1N1 virus continues to spread, will employees be allowed to work from home?
I would like to wear a mask to work to reduce my chances of getting the H1N1 flu. Is this okay?

MORE INFORMATION FOR IIT FACULTY
What if I fall ill and am unable to teach?
What if a student tells me he/she is ill, or appears to have flu-like symptoms?
Should I revise my attendance policy?
Should I revise my policy on documenting student absences?

What does IIT's planning entail?

In most cases, H1N1 flu (also known as swine flu) presents itself as no more severe than the seasonal flu. As a result, we are encouraging students, faculty and staff to self-isolate in the case of illness by staying home from class, work, and events until they are well; and we are educating the IIT community about how to avoid infection and stay healthy.

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What should I do if I think I have the flu?

Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. Symptoms of H1N1 and the seasonal flu are similar: fever, cough, sore throat, headaches, chills and fatigue. A fever is a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. Look for possible signs of fever: if you feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or experience sweating or shivering.

If you are a student and have flu or flu-like symptoms, you should call Student Health Services at 312-567-7550 or your own doctor. If you are a staff member or faculty member, you should contact your doctor or other health care provider. Under current federal guidelines, you are advised to stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever. This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).

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What can I do to prevent getting H1N1 and the seasonal flu?

Like seasonal flu, H1N1 flu is transmitted through respiratory secretions (for example, coughing or sneezing). In general, the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each year (more information on vaccinations appears below). You can also reduce your risk of infection by washing your hands often. Use soap and warm water, and scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizers are also effective. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. You can boost your immune system by getting enough sleep, eating healthfully, exercising, and managing stress. Keep your distance from others while you or they are sick. Staying home from work, class, and other activities helps prevent spreading your illness to others. If you are a student, the Student Health Center (312-567-7550) offers a variety of services to help you stay well.

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Should I get the H1N1 vaccination?

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to get the H1N1 vaccination. The government is controlling the distribution of the vaccine. We have already given our limited supply and will let the community know if/when we receive more; in the meantime, we encourage all members of the community to seek vaccinations through their own doctors or other health care providers.

The vaccine is initially available in limited quanities, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that key groups receive the vaccine first, including people 18 - 24 years of age, because many cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza have been seen in these healthy young adults and they often live, work, and study in close proximity, and they are a frequently mobile population. Other priority groups include pregnant women and people age 25 - 64 who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza and Household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 6 months
of age. Once the demand for vaccine for the prioritized groups has been met, availability is expected to expand to other populations.

The Chicago Department of Public Health will be sponsoring walk-in immunization clinics for Chicagoans who are included in the high priority groups defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Click here for additional information.

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Should I get the seasonal flu vaccination?

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to get the seasonal flu vaccination in addition to the H1N1 vaccination. Getting the seasonal flu shot will help your provider know which flu you have should you get sick. It will also minimize your chance of having two types of flu at once, and help stop the spread of the seasonal flu in our community. We have already given our limited supply and will let the community know if/when we receive more; in the meantime, we encourage all members of the community to seek vaccinations through their own doctors or other health care providers.

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What happens if the flu becomes more severe?

An IIT response group has a plan that can be invoked should H1N1 become severe. One means for minimizing the impact of an infectious disease outbreak in large populations is through "social distancing" of people (that is, trying to ensure separation of at least 3 to 4 feet between people by, for example, having students sit every other seat in the classroom). We encourage social distancing should that become necessary. Additional steps may include suspending or modifying events and/or suspending classes. The decision to disperse students, faculty and staff would only be taken if the virus were to become serious. We would make any such decisions only after consulting with public health officials, and at a time when such dispersal would have a beneficial effect on mitigating the potential transmission in a highly populated, concentrated area.

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Will IIT cancel classes?

The current CDC guidelines for universities expressly tell universities to stay open. That may change in the event of a major outbreak, but those decisions will be made together with public health authorities. Students should try to stay current in their studies and assignments.

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Will students be excused from class due to illness?

Faculty members will make decisions individually about how each class will be handled, but we are encouraging faculty to be as flexible as possible with their attendance policies. Students should contact the designated person for their campus or school (see the first section of this FAQ) so that we can stay in touch with you regarding coursework and other matters. Faculty may ask students who appear to have flu symptoms to not attend class, or to leave class, until 24 hours after they no longer have a fever or signs of a fever.

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Who is at risk for H1N1?

Although anyone can get the H1N1 flu, it seems that young people are more easily infected. Pregnant women, those with young children, or those who provide care to young children are considered to be at greatest risk, as are individuals with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma.

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Further Steps

If this year's flu season becomes severe, the university may take additional steps to prevent a spread of the viruses. The IIT community will be notified of any additional changes to the university's plans. For the most up-to-date information on flu, visit http://www.flu.gov or consult the CDC fact sheet at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/swineflu_you.htm.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR IIT FACULTY AND STAFF

What should I do if I develop flu-like symptoms?

If you develop symptoms of the flu, you should not come to work. Please notify both your supervisor and the designated person for your campus or school (see the first section of this FAQ).  If you start to feel sick while already at work, you should inform your supervisor and then go home. If symptoms are similar to those caused by H1N1 flu, or if there is uncertainty about symptoms, you should call your doctor immediately.

You should stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever. This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).

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What type of leave is available to me if I am out for an extended period of time?

The University’s regular leave and time-off policies cover all types of absences and illnesses, including the H1N1 flu.  There are no separate policies establishing special types of leave relating to an influenza outbreak.  All current available forms of leave-including sick time, vacation time, and personal days-may be considered for use.  Employees should consult their Leave Details information (under the Work tab in the myIIT Portal) to view their available sick time, vacation time, and personal days. If you are out sick for more than three days, you should call the Office of Human Resources at 312-567-3318 about applying for a leave under the university's Family and Medical Leaves of Absence (FMLA) Policy.

You can view information about all of IIT's leave and time-off policies by going to the Work tab in the myIIT Portal (click on the link for Human Resources under the Policies and Procedures heading, and then click on the Time Off link).

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Must I have a doctor's release to return to work?  

We recognize that many doctors will likely advise patients to remain home rather than come in for an examination, but we encourage you to seek a doctor's note, if possible, if you are absent more than three days.

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May my supervisor send me home if I exhibit flu-like symptoms at work?  

Employees exhibiting symptoms will be sent home.  The employee's continued presence must pose no risk to the health of the employee, other employees, or students in order to remain at work.  Employees ordinarily will not be sent home unless they are exhibiting flu-like symptoms. 

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A member of my family has the flu and I need to stay home to care for him/her

Your options depend may depend on your particular situation and the length of your family member’s illness. For a short absence, you may use available vacation time or personal days. You will need to contact your supervisor and obtain approval in order to use your vacation time or personal days.  You will need to keep your supervisor notified of your anticipated return to work date.  If your employment is considered an essential position, you may be required to report to work.

If you are absent for more than three days to care for an ill family member, you should notify your supervisor and consult with the Office of Human Resources at 312-567-3318 about taking time off under the Family and Medical Leaves of Absence (FMLA) Policy. A "family member" under this policy refers to an employee's spouse, eligible domestic partner, son, daughter, or parent (but not parent "in-law").

You can view information about all of IIT's leave and time-off policies by going to the Work tab in the myIIT Portal (click on the link for Human Resources under the Policies and Procedures heading, and then click on the Time Off link).

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May employees be asked to perform other job duties than their regular job? 

Employees may be asked to perform additional job duties.  Departments must contact the Office of Human Resource before changes are made to employee's work duties so that the supervisor can make an informed decision regarding changing an employee's work assignment.

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What if an employee becomes severely ill and cannot contact his/her supervisor? 

If an employee is too ill to contact his or her supervisor, the employee should ask another family member or friend to contact the employee's supervisor or other co-worker who can pass on the information to the supervisor.  The family member or friend may also contact the Office of Human Resources at 312-567-3318 and Human Resources will notify the supervisor of the absence. 

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If the H1N1 virus continues to spread, will employees be allowed to work from home?
As noted above, we ask that employees who are ill to stay at home, in order to support their recovery and protect the health of colleagues and students. While IIT does not have an official work-at-home policy, supervisors and managers should use sound judgment in allowing employees to work from home. The severity of the H1N1 outbreak will determine the appropriateness of having healthy employees work from home. In that situation, each department will use its own discretion in identifying those employees who can perform the critical functions of their position outside of the immediate workplace. Each department should identify procedures such as calling in, participating in conference calls, and e-mail status checks to ensure that employees working from home are still contributing to the immediate needs of the university.

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I would like to wear a mask to work to reduce my chances of getting the H1N1 flu. Is this okay?  

Employees may wear a protective mask (carrying the number N59) at work as a preventative measure if they wish.

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MORE INFORMATION FOR IIT FACULTY

What if I fall ill and am unable to teach?

Each department should develop contingency plans in case a faculty member falls ill and is unable to teach for a period of time. This may be addressed by having another faculty member teach the class, rescheduling classes for later in the semester, or use of distance education techniques.  Faculty are encouraged to place course materials online, if practical, for use by students in the event of the student's or the professor's absence from class.

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What if a student tells me he/she is ill, or appears to have flu-like symptoms?

If a student contacts you and tells you that he or she is experiencing flu-like symptoms, please ask the student not to attend your class and to remain in the student's room or stay at home. If you observe a student in class with flu-like symptoms, please ask the student to return home. Please make sure the student is aware of where to go for advice and support (or simply refer them to this FAQ), and please contact the designated person for your campus or school with the student's name. You should make a plan (via email or phone) with the student to discuss make-up work after their symptoms have cleared.

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Should I revise my attendance policy?

We encourage all faculty members to be as flexible as possible with their attendance policies so as not to needlessly penalize students who fall ill.  As noted above, you should make a plan with students for making work up after they are healthy again. In addition to policies on class attendance, we encourage relaxed policies for other academic attendance requirements such as participation in research studies, attendance at department/university lectures, etc.

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Should I revise my policy on documenting student absences?

Since not all students may seek a medical doctor for treatment (and we expect many doctors will advise patients to remain home rather than come in for an examination), you should use your best judgment in requesting a doctor's note before a student returns to class.

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MORE INFORMATION

Orientation
Welcome to Law School Law School Survival Guide Public Service Day
Academic Resources
Student Resource Library Academic Support Program Required Courses
Counseling and Health Services
IIT Student Health Center Insurance Enrollment Form Insurance Waiver Form IIT Counseling Center Chickering Health Care Student Health Insurance FAQ Lawyer's Assistance Program
Administrative Assistance
ADA Accommodations Withdrawal and Return to School Exam Reschedules
Bar Exam Information
Illinois Bar Exam Information Bar Preparation Information Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination
Student Life
Links to Chicago-Kent Student Organizations American Bar Association Chicago Bar Association Illinois Bar Association Living in Chicago U-Pass Information Student Business Cards
Student Organizations
Student Organization Information
Safe Space Program
Program information Participants How to get involved


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