Pandemic Flu Management
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,) An influenza pandemic is a global outbreak of a new influenza A virus that is very different from current and recently circulating human seasonal influenza A viruses. Pandemics happen when new (novel) influenza A viruses emerge which are able to infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way. Different animals—including birds and pigs—are hosts to influenza A viruses that do not normally infect people. Influenza A viruses are constantly changing, making it possible on very rare occasions for non-human influenza viruses to change in such a way that they can infect people easily and spread efficiently from person to person. When a pandemic influenza virus emerges, the virus can spread quickly because most people will not be immune and a vaccine might not be widely available to offer immediate protection. During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, for example, a new H1N1 virus was first identified in April 2009. By June 2009, that novel H1N1 virus had spread worldwide and the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. Spread of a pandemic influenza virus may occur in multiple disease “waves” that are separated by several months. As a pandemic influenza virus spreads, large numbers of people may need medical care worldwide. Schools, childcare centers, workplaces, and other places for mass gatherings may experience more absenteeism. Public health and healthcare systems can become overloaded, with elevated rates of hospitalizations and deaths. Other critical infrastructure, such as law enforcement, emergency medical services, and transportation industry may also be affected.
Student spacing refers to distancing individuals and strategies to reduce the spread of the virus between people; information should be distributed to all staff, students and parents.
In the event of a school closing, school recovery from an influenza pandemic will begin when school officials determine that normal supplies, resources and response systems can manage ongoing school activities. School officials will assess the economic and educational impact of the pandemic. The district will follow public health recommendations in the event specific actions are required to return to school including environmental sanitation. School opening will be communicated through local TV, radio stations and social media outlets.