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FAQ’s on Flu at Carleton

Q: What should students do if they fall ill?
A: If a student falls ill, they need to do three things:

  1. Take your temperature to see if a fever is present.
  2. If you’re ill, you should remain in your room until you have recovered. Have a friend or roommate get your meals. If this isn’t possible, then talk with your RA.
  3. Most who contract influenza will feel ill but won’t need to visit their health care provider. Keeping hydrated, treating fever, and getting plenty of rest will speed recovery in 5-7 days. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends resuming normal activities 24 hours after a fever subsides without the aid of medication.

Q: What should staff and/or faculty do if they fall ill?
A: If a staff or faculty member falls ill, they should report the illness and subsequent absence to department heads (faculty) or direct supervisor (staff). If you have symptoms of an influenza-like illness (ILI), you’re encouraged to work through your own personal health-care provider.

This guidance recommends that employees with flu-like illness stay home until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medications (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).

Information regarding sick leave benefits can be found in the Staff Handbook on the Human Resources website (https://apps.carleton.edu/campus/human_resources/).  

Q: If a student is ill, will he/she be asked to move to a different room?
A: At this time the College won’t ask a student who is ill to move to a different room.

Q: If a student is ill, on board, but not allowed to leave his or her room, how will he/she be fed?
A: If a student is too ill to go to the dining hall or is being responsible and is practicing social distancing, Bon Appétit (Carleton’s food service provider) does have a sick tray option for students.  Ill students should send a note and their One Card with a roommate or friend to the dining hall and that person will be given a to-go container to take food back to the sick student. If a student is ill for a longer period of time, he/she can work with their Hall Director to submit their ID number to Bon Appétit so they can keep it on file and then the friend would just need to give the sick student’s name to the checker.

Q: If a student’s roommate is ill, what processes are in place to make sure he or she doesn’t get ill?
A: At this time we aren’t planning on moving most students because by the time the roommate becomes sick, the roommate would have already been exposed. We will have some rooms available for students with underlying conditions that would pose a greater need for caution (compromised immune system, chronic health concerns, asthma, etc).  If a student falls into this category, he/she should contact the Residential Life office (507.222.4072) and request a temporary assignment in another location.

Q: What if an illness causes a student to miss an extended amount of class time?
A: The Dean of the College office and information and technology services have teamed up to assist faculty members in recording lectures and class sessions and offering them as podcasts for students who are ill and confined to their room. Students should check either with the Dean's office or individual faculty members to see if he or she offers this option.

Individual faculty members and students handle academic adjustments during the term, and faculty will be as flexible as they can be for ill students. The Dean of Students Office will handle academic extensions at the end of the term. Typically these types of extensions occur no earlier than the eighth week of the term.

Q: What items should students bring with them?
A: Thermometer, tissues, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, and hand sanitizers are perfect items to send back to school with your student.

Q: My computer and related area seems to be a prime area for germs. How can I keep those areas sanitized, and how will the College handle public computer labs?
A: ITS and facilities have worked together and come up with the following actions and recommendations:

  1. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed in all public computer labs. Please clean your hands before and after using computers in public labs. This practice will minimize the spread of the flu virus via keyboards and mice.
  2. We encourage all departments to keep containers of hand sanitizer in student work areas, common areas, or where individuals may be sharing computers. Each department is responsible for purchasing hand sanitizer for their respective areas.
  3. ITS will be establishing a protocol of hand sanitizing before and after making house calls to work on faculty and staff computers.

Q: Where can I find more resources?
A: Carleton maintains a website where it will continue to post updates at http://apps.carleton.edu/campus/flu/. Of course, the Centers for Disease Control (http://www.flu.gov and http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm) and Minnesota Department of Health (http://www.health.state.mn.us/) are also offering excellent resources on their respective websites.

Q: If I have further questions, whom should I contact?
A: If you have general questions about influenza as it pertains to students here at Carleton, please email the Dean of Students Office at dosoffice@Carleton.edu. If you have urgent questions, please call 507.222.4075 during normal business hours. If you think it is an emergency situation, as always contact Security Services at 507.222.4444.

Faculty members with questions should contact the Dean of the College's office or his or her department head, while staff members should contact human resources with sick leave questions and direct supervisors with other questions.