SUNY Oswego Administrators Hold Tabletop Drill on H1N1 Scenario

OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego is preparing in the event that H1N1 flu, also known as swine flu, becomes widespread or severe enough to disrupt college operations.

On Monday, Patricia Egan of Oswego County’s Emergency Management Office led key college administrators in a tabletop exercise. Vice presidents and representatives of the President’s Office, Walker Health Center, Human Resources, Environmental Health and Safety, University Police and Public Affairs took part.

Considerations included addressing the possibility of a surge of cases on campus, immunization protocols, stockpiling supplies, communications and alerts, off-site instruction, cross-training, continuity of operations and suspension of classes, tuition reimbursement, case reporting procedures and coordinating with SUNY System Administration and the state and county health departments.

Monday’s exercise is one of a series of drills that have been held or are scheduled to take place on the campus to prepare for unexpected emergency events.

Earlier this month, five campus representatives took part in a SUNY symposium, “Facing a Public Health Challenge: H1N1,” in Syracuse to learn from other universities that have been challenged by the disease, including Carnegie Mellon, where cases spiked in August, and Cornell, where a 20-year-old student with underlying health issues died earlier this month. Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control, the American College Health Association, and the state Department of Health shared information regarding HINl.

SUNY Oswego has implemented flu-prevention measures widely on campus, beginning last spring and continuing this semester. As at colleges around the nation, Oswego has seen a number of students this semester with influenza-like illness presumed to be H1N1, and a few employees have reported that their personal physicians have diagnosed them with H1N1. All are recovered or recovering from this generally mild illness.