Should an outbreak occur, the University will begin to activate its emergency response plan. Steps will be taken to (a) help faculty, staff and students depart the University before national and international travel restrictions begin; (b) maintain a reduced level of key campus operations through remote or online interaction; (c) implement payment of wages and other payments through direct deposit and other electronic means; (d) communicate contingency responses; and (e) begin the recovery process once the outbreak has been controlled.
The University Pandemic Influenza Response Plan may be activated in several escalating levels and in consonance with guidance received from the World Health Organization, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control, and local health departments. A synopsis of our levels or response follows:
Level 1. First cases of efficient human-to-human transmission internationally.
The campus stays open, business as usual, more enhanced and specific planning steps will be taken to prepare for the next level. Communication with the campus community will increase to keep everyone informed of plans being implemented.
Level 2: First verified case is reported in North America AND one or more other triggering events.
The criteria of events that will trigger moving to Level 2 include (a) the World Health Organization declaration reflecting an increased and sustained transmission in the general U.S. population, (b) confirmation of a high rate of infectivity, morbidity (rate of infection) and/or mortality (death rate), (c) rate/speed of disease spreading, (d) local public health recommendation to curtail/cancel public activities in county or state, (e) falling class attendance and/or students departing the campus, (f) rising employee absenteeism, (g) other regional schools and school systems closing, (h) transportation systems closing or curtailing interstate travel and (i) cases in the local Mid-Atlantic area occurring early in the overall U.S. experience with the unfolding pandemic.
Social distancing measures will be adopted; steps will be taken to minimize large gatherings, including the possible cancellation of athletic events, other scheduled extra-curricula activities and some classes. Health and Counseling Center staffs will begin to implement emergency response procedures. Administrative departments, student service units and all academic programs will review procedures for possibly shutting down.
Level 3. Suspected/confirmed case is reported within a 250 mile radius of the campus.
Depending on national and local conditions, review plans necessary to close the University.
Level 4A: Suspected/confirmed case is reported on campus.
Review capability to continue operations. Selected residence halls/apartments, administrative offices and academic buildings may need to be closed. Dining operations may need to be reduced. All research operations may be interrupted until the pandemic period has passed. All administrative and academic support units may be shut down until the campus reopens.
Level 4B: The campus is closed. An emergency condition has been declared and the campus has been evacuated.
All facilities have closed except skeletal services for the student health center and temporary emergency shelter housing for students with extreme hardships. Access to campus has been sealed off for vehicles and pedestrians (except for essential employees for tasks related to securing and maintaining the campus and its facilities), and closure is sustained. All service contracts and construction projects will be suspended.
Recovery level: The pandemic is under control.
Once the danger of the pandemic has passed, the campus will reopen for business.