College of the Rockies' pandemic planning committee has a comprehensive plan in place and are ensuring that policies and procedures are ready to guide us in the event of an outbreak in our area.
This is your one-stop resource for information regarding an H1N1 outbreak, as well as guidelines on how to avoid becoming infected. We'll also try to answer some of the more common questions on how the flu may affect COTR students, staff, and visitors. We'll also post important updates and notices to our COTR Facebook and Twitter pages. Please bookmark them for easy reference.
News and Updates
- Considering the Options: Getting the Flu vs Getting the Vaccine
- H1N1 Vaccine Q & A
- H1N1 Pandemic Vaccine Approved
Public Service Announcement: H1N1 Flu Virus
H1N1 (also referred to as "swine flu") is a new influenza virus causing illness in people. In Canada, this new virus was first detected in people in April 2009. Since that time, it has spread around the world. The World Health Organization has declared the H1N1 a pandemic, which means there is human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region.
What we are generally seeing in Canada with H1N1 is similar to typical seasonal influenza. Illness includes a sudden onset of respiratory illness with a fever (body temperature above 38ºC or 100.4ºF), cough, and other symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, and extreme fatigue.
Most people with influenza recover completely in 1-2 weeks; however the severity of illness can vary. A person who is concerned about their health or wellbeing should contact a health care practitioner to discuss their personal circumstances.
This pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus is thought to be spread from person to person in the same way as seasonal influenza where transmission occurs predominantly through coughing or sneezing. Indirect transmission can also occur by touching surfaces and objects contaminated with the virus from infected persons.
Wash your hands often and thoroughly in warm, soapy water.
- Hands spread an estimated 80 percent of common infectious diseases like the common cold and flu. For example, when you touch a doorknob that has the flu virus on it and then touch your mouth, you can get sick. But these disease-causing germs slide off easily with good handwashing technique.
- How to Wash Your Hands -- 7 tips. Even Elmo does it!
- The College has placed sanitizer stations in all campuses. Look near the entrances or ask at reception for locations at your campus.
Cover your nose and mouth with a clean tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- The influenza virus spreads quickly from person to person through droplets in the air. These droplets come from our noses and mouths when we cough or sneeze
- Throw the tissue in the trash immediately after you use it.
- Cough and sneeze in your arm or sleeve, not your hand.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as infection can spread that way.
- The College will provide additional cleaning of the doors and door handles to all washrooms (twice daily) and additional cleaning of bathroom taps and sinks throughout the day. Evening janitorial services will also include wiping down of all office and classroom doors.
- Disinfecting wipes will be available in all computer labs and in work areas around the college. The Student Help Desk will also have a small supply on hand. It only takes four minutes for the wipes to kill 99% of surface viruses.
- The cafeteria will continue to practice safe food handling procedures. They have also installed a hand sanitizer pump and staff are sanitizing their hands frequently. Tables are wiped down three times a day (at minimum) and all food trays are washed in the dishwasher.
Take care of yourself when caring for someone who is ill.
- If you go out when you're sick, you may spread your illness to co-workers, classmates, neighbours or others.
- Increase the amount of fluids you drink (water, juice, soup) and get plenty of rest for seven to ten days.
- Don't return to school or take part in group activities until you are feeling well and able to fully participate in all normal day to day school activities.
- Instructions for students living in Purcell House Residence
Call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1
- If you have symptoms or concerns you can speak to a nurse anytime of the day or night at HealthLink BC. See a health care provider if your symptoms become worse but call ahead to let them know you have fever or cough illness.
- Most people recover within a week to 10 days. If your symptoms do not improve, see your doctor; you may be suffering from serious complications of the flu.
Contact your instructor, department head, or manager.
- Let him or her know that you have, or suspect you have, the H1N1 flu.
- Information for COTR employees
- Limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.