Pandemic Response Plan
I. Pandemic Health Events
The College is committed to preparing for and responding to any public health outbreaks and/or epidemics that are uncontained and pandemic in nature. The College wishes to minimize the impact of a pandemic health event on students, faculty and staff by working with local, regional, state and national health officials.
To do this, College employees will strive to: (a) protect the health of students, faculty, staff and visitors on the College campuses and extension sites; (b) communicate with the College community and the public during the duration of a pandemic event; (c) sustain necessary College operations and services as long as it is reasonable and safe to continue to do so; and (d) prevent the spread of the pandemic event within the College’s facilities.
II. Operation Assumptions
The following assumptions are made for purposes of this Policy:
- The Center for Disease Control; branches, divisions, or offices of the United States or North Carolina governments; or the local county health department has declared a pandemic health event.
- A declared pandemic health event results in travel restrictions, quarantine areas, school closures and public events/activities cancellations.
- The College will work with local authorities to coordinate locally-based response plans.
- It is reasonably expected that a pandemic outbreak may result in the closing of all College facilities for a period of time.
III. Pandemic Response Coordinator
The Director of Human Resources will serve as the Pandemic Response Coordinator (“Coordinator”). The Coordinator, in cooperation with the President and executive staff will be responsible for the following:
- Coordinating all planning efforts.
- Organizing the Pandemic Response Team, scheduling its meetings and evaluating its performance.
- Reviewing and updating the pandemic event procedures with the Pandemic Response Team.
- Identifying and procuring resources for responding to a pandemic event.
- Monitoring pandemic status with local, state and national health agencies.
IV. PANDEMIC EVENT RESPONSE TEAM
The Coordinator will serve as the leader of the College’s Pandemic Response Team (“Team”). The Team membership will be determined by the President, and will include representatives from all operational areas of the College.
- Communications to the Public
- The College’s Director of Marketing and Community Relations (“Spokesperson”) will serve as the lead spokesperson for the College communicating with the media. The President will serve as alternate spokesperson and will coordinate all public communications with the College’s Spokesperson. All other College employees should not attempt to speak for the College.
- The College will utilize the notification procedures for a schedule interruption as outlined in Policy 02.01.11 and with direct contact to local media outlets. This will distribute information by area radio and television, newspaper, automated telephone attendant, and the College’s website. Website information will include College plans and, if available, links to local, state, and federal agencies to help create awareness and educate people on the pandemic event, prevention strategies and general information for the public good.
- The College’s Spokesperson will conduct media briefings and issue news releases as necessary.
- Communications to Employees
- The Spokesperson will communicate with employees by email, voicemail and the College’s website. Timely information and updates will be sent and posted as available. Information on where to find up-to-date and reliable information about the pandemic event will be distributed when known.
- The Human Resources Director and Spokesperson will communicate with employees about healthcare services and the need to maintain personal healthcare.
- The Human Resources Director will contact employees about accounting for absences, leaves, compensation and any other personnel issues related to disruptions resulting from a pandemic health event.
- Communications to Students
- The Spokesperson will communicate with students by student email and the College’s website. Communications will include information about the pandemic health event, changes in course delivery, schedule changes, College closing/re-opening information and other information as needed.
- The Spokesperson will distribute to students information from public health officials that might prevent or impact an outbreak of a pandemic health event.
Upon notification that the potential outbreak of a pandemic health event is occurring within the United States, the Coordinator will immediately work with the President to assemble the Team. The Team will review procedures, assign responsibilities and schedule the following actions:
- Set up prominent notices at all building entrances to instruct employees, students, and visitors not to enter campus buildings if they have any symptoms of the pandemic health event.
- Post informational notices around campus (building entrances, notice boards, conference rooms, and restrooms) to educate how to stop the spread of the pandemic health event through personal hygiene practices. Notices will include information concerning hand hygiene, covering coughs and sneezes, and appropriate student/employee spacing.
- Instruct custodial personnel to obtain adequate supplies of tissues, hand sanitizing gels, disinfectant soaps, and disinfectant cleaning supplies.
- Distribute to all employees and students a pandemic health event fact sheet containing information regarding stopping the spread of the event and performing effective individual spacing.
- Instruct all shared work areas (desktops, tables, door knobs, stair rails, etc.) be cleaned with a disinfectant at least daily, and more frequently as needed.
- Determine the impact of the pandemic health event on the number of plant operations staff available and alternative methods to sanitize the campus.
- Implement other appropriate actions required by the federal, State or local government.