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Avian Flu Pandemic Plan
Introduction
Pre-Level 1
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Recovery
Appendices

Areas of Institutional Response:

Communications
;Academic Programs
Health and Safety
Student Life
Administrative Services
Transportation and Controlled Access
 

Avian Flu Plan > Communications <- You Are Here

Communications

Communication will be maintained via the use of the web, e-mail, telephone, and the media, depending upon the continued availability of each of these options. Coordination of this area of response will be handled by Dr. Jeffrey Huskamp, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, and Dr. Terry Flannery, Assistant Vice President for University Marketing and Communications. Communication will be needed for various audiences at different stages of the pandemic. Specific plans for communication are outlined in the six Avian Flu phases in the following sections of this report. For each of these phases, draft communications will be developed in advance for use as needed.
Web—The recently developed Emergency Preparedness Website (http://www.umd.edu/emergencypreparedness), linked to the University's top level page, will be used for broadcast information of a general nature, including general campus status information, and specific Avian Flu information. As needed, the University Webpage will include links to other useful information. Updating can be done either on or off campus as conditions dictate. Two new applications are under consideration for development. A student locator service could be designed, with the same portal mechanism that allows parents to view student grades, to provide information to family members about their students including short date/time stamped messages. An additional application would enable faculty, staff, or students to post a date/time stamped message that can be viewed by the public and/or by members of the University community through use of a valid University e-mail account.

E-mail—Existing mechanisms are in place for authorizing and sending mass e-mail (mega mail) to the campus community. As the situation develops, e-mail services for general use will be supported with essential staff and will include all faculty, staff, and student accounts as well as listserv services.

Telephone—University land line telephones will be supported with essential staff and will include all current telephone lines. These telephones can be used to disseminate critical information to the campus via recorded voice mail messages. Cell phones may also be used for direct communication with critical employees as needed, depending upon continued service by such service providers.

Media—Critical messages may also be disseminated by Media Relations staff via newspaper advertising, commercial and public radio broadcast messages. The University may also utilize 1640 AM, the traffic radio station, to reach people coming to campus or in the immediate vicinity.
PRE-LEVEL 1

Prior to efficient human-to-human transmission

Institution Wide:
•The Incident Response Team will meet regularly to discuss preparations for each level and to confirm the designation of responsibility for specific types of communications.

•Campus faculty, staff, and students will be encouraged to become familiar with details of the Avian Flu Plan. A detailed plan for introducing the Avian Flu Plan to members of the University community is found in Appendix A. A draft of a student correspondence mailing on the Avian Flu for Fall 2006 is provided in Appendix B.

•The new Emergency Preparedness Website(www.umd.edu/emergencypreparedness) will be marketed to members of the University community and updated information will be posted on it as needed. This resource will be used during the Pre-Level 1 period to communicate with students, faculty, staff, parents/families, trustees, regents, surrounding communities, local officials, state officials, and vendors.

•Educational campaigns on hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette will be increased.
Department Specific:
•All units will identify essential staff to maintain necessary operations during Levels 1-4, and inform individual staff of their status in writing. This should be done as soon as practical.

•All units will confirm communication protocols for all staff levels (e-mails, meetings, conference calls, etc.).

•All units will be ready to communicate how they will function/provide services with fewer staff, noting restrictions of hours and service levels and alternative means of getting services as appropriate.

•The University Health Center will provide health promotion activities that stress infection control measures, e.g., hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette.

•The University Health Center Websitewill be an additional source of current Avian Flu information for the campus.

•The University Health Center will identify experts/spokespersons for campus from County and State health departments.

•Resident Life and Fraternity and Sorority Life will prepare drafts of e-mails, Webpostings, FAQs, and fliers to be used in (a) educational campaigns about hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette, (b) personal protection campaign (e.g., what items students should have/store in their rooms and personal safety precautions), and (c) progressively difficult and dangerous situations. In addition, all residents will be advised that all University housing will be shut down shortly after classes are canceled and all residents will be expected to evacuate the campus.

•University Human Resources will disseminate information about applicable leave policies and information on communicable diseases pursuant to the Memorandum of Understandings (Non-exempt and Exempt Article 18, Section 6).

•The Department of Environmental Safety will manage the distribution of information and consult on regulatory issues regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment, the Instructions for Employees Who Request Voluntary Use of a Respirator, and the Protocol for Cleaning and Disinfection of Environmental Surfaces. These three documents are found in Appendices C, D, and E.

•The Office of Information Technology (OIT) will be responsible for maintaining the essential services and systems to support campus communication and instruction. An overview of the OIT plan is in Appendix F.
LEVEL 1

First cases of efficient human-to-human transmission internationally—Campus open, business as usual, enhanced planning

Institution Wide:
•Information on the Emergency Preparedness Websitewill be updated as needed to communicate current status of the pandemic and institutional responses. Additional efforts to market the Websitewill also be implemented.

•E-mail alerts will be sent to students, faculty, staff, and parents/families of students informing them of the current status and encouraging them to refer to the Emergency Preparedness Website.

•Direct deposit inventories will be conducted.
Department Specific:
•All units will update departmental Websites with service specific information as conditions evolve over time.

•All units will provide information to staff about departmental issues and the care and safety of their families.

•The Health Center will provide health promotion activities that stress infection control measures, e.g., hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette.

•The Health Center Web site will be an additional source of current Avian Flu information for the campus.

•International Education Services will send an IESNEWS issue to all international students with appropriate information. An IES staff member will be in charge of messages. The IESNEWS article will link to the IES Website.

•Dining Services will educate students, faculty, and staff on the need to keep a three day supply of food, water, and other essentials.

•Resident Life and Fraternity and Sorority Life staff will conduct informational meetings with student residents and other stakeholders as needed.

•The Department of Environmental Safety will manage the distribution of information and consult on regulatory issues regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment, the Instructions for Employees Who Request Voluntary Use of a Respirator, and the Protocol for Cleaning and Disinfection of Environmental Surfaces. These three documents are found in Appendices C, D, and E.
LEVEL 2

First verified case in North America AND one or more other triggering events ( listed below)—Implement social distancing measures; cancel classes and other scheduled activities; prepare for closing; begin liberal leave for non-essential employees, healthy essential employees report

Decision criteria/triggering events:
•World Health Organization declaration of Phase 6�Pandemic period: Increased and sustained transmission in the general U.S. population

•Confirmation of a high rate of infectivity, morbidity (rate of infection) and/or mortality (death rate)

•Rate/speed of disease spreading

•Local public health recommendations to curtail/cancel public activities in county or state

•Falling class attendance, students leaving campus

•Rising employee absenteeism

•Other regional schools/school systems closing

•Transportation systems closing/curtailing interstate travel

•Cases in the local Mid-Atlantic area occurring early versus late in the overall U.S. experience with the unfolding pandemic
Institution Wide:
•Information on the Emergency Preparedness Websitewill be updated as needed to educate the campus community regarding flu signs/symptoms and when/where to seek help. Opportunities for responsive on-line communication will be provided by University Marketing and Communication.

•E-mail alerts will be sent to students, faculty, staff, parents/families, Trustees, Regents, State officials, and vendors apprising them of the status of activities on campus and steps being taken by the institution.

•Media will be alerted to the status of activities on campus and steps being taken by the institution.
Department Specific:
•All units will keep staff in their areas informed of the current status of the pandemic and institutional responses.

•All units will update websites for closing status.

•All units will maintain staff phone trees.

•All units will publicize Health Center protocols for hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette.

•All units will implement a procedure for dealing with a possible increased media presence, including access issues, and referrals to campus public information staff.

•The Health Center staff will educate the campus regarding signs/symptoms and when/where to seek help.

•Signs will be posted at entry doors of the Health Center notifying patients with coughs to put on mask.

•Health Center personnel will conduct frequent consultation with the County and State health departments.

•Resident Life and Fraternity and Sorority Life will announce that all University housing will be closed imminently, and students will need to prepare to evacuate.

•Resident Life and Fraternity and Sorority Life will communicate Health Center protocols for infection control in areas such as residence halls where social isolation is difficult.

•Resident Life and Fraternity and Sorority Life will e-mail students directly affected by campus action (e.g., evacuation, social isolation, relocation) specifying actions they must take.

•International Education Services will send an IESNEWS issue to all international students giving options for action for students so they can prepare to make difficult decisions if necessary.

•Study Abroad staff, faculty directors (if overseas), and students will be notified of emergency contact information, including home phone numbers, of the Study Abroad and IES staff. A link will be placed on the Study Abroad Websiteto the Emergency Preparedness and Health Center Websites.

•Signs will be posted at Dining Services' facilities stating anticipated closing of each facility and directing customers to South Campus Dining Hall.

•The Department of Environmental Safety will manage the distribution of information and consult on regulatory issues regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment, the Instructions for Employees Who Request Voluntary Use of a Respirator, and the Protocol for Cleaning and Disinfection of Environmental Surfaces. These three documents are found in Appendices C, D, and E.
LEVEL 3

Within 1-5 days of declaring Level 2 and depending on national and local conditions—All University residences will close; thereafter, as soon as practicable, most administrative offices and academic buildings will close.

Institution Wide:
•Information on the Emergency Preparedness Website(www.umd.edu/emergencypreparedness) will be updated on a continual basis, as needed. Online response to electronic inquiries will be provided from a remote location by the staff in University Marketing and Communications.

•E-mail alerts will be sent to students, faculty, staff, parents/families, Trustees, Regents, State officials, and vendors apprising them of the status of activities on campus and steps being taken by the institution.

•Campus wide voice mail will be sent to students, faculty, and staff. Other appropriate telephone contact will be made with other stakeholders.

•Media will be apprised of evolving status of activities on campus and steps being taken by the institution.
Department Specific:
•All units will follow campus protocols for updating the Web and other communications, including approvals and sequencing of updates, relay of information between departments and the Incident Response Team, and taking into account the nature and volume of student, parent, and media inquiries.

•Health Center will maintain contact with county and state health departments.

•International Education Services will send an IESNEWS issue to all international students and link it to the IES Web site. IES may open a blog for more instantaneous news.

•Study Abroad will continue to keep students informed of progress of flu on campus and the institution's response.

•The Department of Environmental Safety will manage the distribution of information and consult on regulatory issues regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment, the Instructions for Employees Who Request Voluntary Use of a Respirator, and the Protocol for Cleaning and Disinfection of Environmental Surfaces. These three documents are found in Appendices C, D, and E.
LEVEL 4

As soon as practicable following Level 3—Campus closed; declared emergency condition; evacuation of campus; all facilities closed except skeletal services for infirmary, temporary emergency shelter housing for students with extreme hardships, and essential research; access to campus is sealed off; closure is sustained.

Institution Wide:
•Information on the Emergency Preparedness Web site will be updated on a continual basis, as needed. Online response to electronic inquiries will be provided from a remote location by the staff in University Marketing and Communications.

•E-mail alerts will be sent to students, faculty, staff, parents/families, Trustees, Regents, State officials, and vendors apprising them of the status of activities on campus and steps being taken by the institution.

•Campus wide voice mail will be sent to students, faculty, and staff. Other appropriate telephone contact will be made with other stakeholders.

•Media will be apprised of evolving status of activities on campus and steps being taken by the institution.
Department Specific:
•Health Center staff will maintain contact with County and State health departments.

•Resident Life, Fraternity and Sorority Life, International Education Services, and Study Abroad staff will continue to maintain e-mail contact and Web information as appropriate at this stage.

•The Department of Environmental Safety will manage the distribution of information and consult on regulatory issues regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment, the Instructions for Employees Who Request Voluntary Use of a Respirator, and the Protocol for Cleaning and Disinfection of Environmental Surfaces. These three documents are found in Appendices C, D, and E.
RECOVERY

Recovery stage once pandemic is under control—Campus poised to re-open

Institution Wide:
•Re-opening procedures and timetable will be communicated via e-mail, web, and media.

•Student return policy and procedures will be announced via e-mail and Web (e.g., health and safety precautions, what to expect, what to bring, and pro-rata credits for unused portions of services).






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