H1N1 Flu Virus
Important Update from Student Health
September 28, 2009
Dear Gaucho Parents:
I am writing to update you on the steps UC Santa Barbara has
taken to prepare the campus for the possible impact of the H1N1 flu virus (also
known as “swine flu”)
The H1N1 pandemic flu is now widespread throughout the world. Fortunately, the vast
majority of cases continue to be mild and, at this point, the H1N1 virus appears
no more virulent or severe than most cases of seasonal flu. However, people under
fifty, particularly children and young adults, appear to be more at risk for contracting
this strain of flu since they have not yet had contact with a similar type of virus
and lack immunity. Cases of H1N1 have already appeared on most college campuses
and, since May, we have seen multiple cases of H1N1 flu at UCSB. While the number
of cases here has declined significantly during August, we expect to see increased
numbers this fall, consistent with what is happening in communities and colleges
throughout the U.S. We strongly encourage all members of the UCSB community to take
the standard precautions recommended during the flu season and to play an active
role in our public health prevention efforts. For many years, UCSB has had emergency
plans in place to address wide-ranging campus issues and health concerns. We have
adapted these preparedness efforts in order to respond to the H1N1 pandemic. Our
emergency response teams receive regular input from the Santa Barbara Public Health
Department (SBCPHD) and include members from Student Health, Environmental Health
and Safety, Student Affairs, the Academic Senate, Human Resources, Public Affairs,
and many other departments. We will continue to meet regularly and on an as-needed
basis as this pandemic progress.
During most of the Gap Fire and part of the Tea Fire, Santa Barbara County and City
officials were not providing Spanish translations of critical information. To fill
this need, bilingual students and the executive director of Associated Students
translated information into Spanish. Later when Spanish press releases were available,
programmers regularly read the Spanish versions over the air along with the English
versions. As a consequence of the Gap Fire, KCSB formed a partnership with the Santa
Barbara Independent, a weekly news magazine. Their reporters called KCSB programmers
or were called by them to give frequent reports from the field. This exchange allowed
the Independent reporters to get their news out and allowed KCSB to give broader
coverage than its small staff could manage. When the Tea Fire broke out, the Independent
lost power. Several of its reporters and its editor-in-chief came to KCSB to report
and post stories on the Web. That experience served to strengthen the relationship.
Classes and Activities
Classes and other activities at UCSB will proceed as scheduled
this quarter. The emergency response team will monitor the campus situation, working
with the SBCPHD, and will make recommendations regarding changes in, or cancellations
of, campus activities depending on the nature of any flu outbreak. Faculty and staff
are being counseled to adopt more liberal policies regarding possible increased
absenteeism this fall. The chancellor, with guidance from the university physician
and the director of the SBCPHD, will make any decisions regarding the cancellation
of classes. Any such decision will be communicated broadly to faculty, students,
and staff through email and other methods.
Public Health Precautions
The following guidelines for good health are being communicated
to your student in a variety of ways (e.g., posters, flyers, electronic screens,
Web sites, and email):
- Avoid, as much as possible, contact with ill persons
- Cover your nose and mouth
with a tissue or your sleeve/elbow when you cough or sneeze; avoid touching your
eyes, nose, and mouth
- Discard used tissues in the trash
- Do not share food, drink,
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly—particularly
after you cough or sneeze—or use an alcohol-based hand gel
As this is not a gastrointestinal viral infection, intensive cleaning of food facilities
(beyond normal cleaning) is not necessary.
Treatment and Response
The great majority of students who contract this virus will
not need to seek medical treatment. Students who are ill with the flu should remain
at home (or in their room) for twenty-four hours after they are free from fever
(less than 100.0 degrees without medication that would lower temperature). A mild,
lingering cough may occur. Barring any other flu symptoms, this cough should not
prevent students from returning to class. As of this writing, we are planning to
allow students who are ill with the flu to remain in campus housing with instructions
to self-isolate. Healthy students are encouraged to maintain a distance of six feet
from ill roommates/students. Dining Services will arrange take-out food and delivery
for self-isolated students who live in residence halls.
Flu kits containing over-the-counter
medications, tissues, hand sanitizer, a reusable thermometer, and a mask (for use
only when an ill student is temporarily unable to keep apart from others) will be
available for purchase ($8.00) through Student Health (please see our Web site for
details) and at the front desks of UCSB residence halls. If there has been contact
with someone who has the flu, onset of the virus can take up to three days. If students
experience any flu symptoms within this time period, they are encouraged to stay
home to limit the spread of the virus. If they have a chronic medical condition
such as diabetes, cancer, chronic asthma, heart or lung problems, or a weakened
immune system, they should consult with Student Health to see if antiviral medication
Medication and Vaccinations
Generally, Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is prescribed for individuals
with the flu who are either hospitalized, have a chronic medical condition (as listed
above), or have a suppressed immune system. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) for influenza
is useful only to reduce symptoms and decrease recovery time by about twenty-four
hours if started within the first two days of illness.
The following vaccinations are expected to be available during fall 2009:
- Seasonal Flu Vaccine: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend seasonal
flu vaccinations for all students. This year, students with Student Health Insurance
Plan (SHIP) coverage are entitled to a seasonal flu shot at no cost. In addition,
courtesy of the Student Fee Advisory Committee, there will be one thousand doses
of this vaccine available to non-SHIP students without charge on a first-come, first-served
basis. Please consult the Student Health Web site listed below for the dates and
times of flu shot clinics this fall.
- H1N1 Vaccine: Recent recommendations from
the CDC have placed individuals under age twenty-four in the top priority group
for receiving the H1N1 vaccine. More information will be available in the coming
weeks regarding how and when this vaccine will be given. Please check the Student
Health Web site for updates.
More information on the H1N1 flu is available on the
following Web sites:
Students who have questions may contact the advice nurse at UCSB Student Health
at 805-893-7129. Parents are encouraged to call the SBCPHD at 888-SBCoFlu (888-722-6358)
for general information regarding H1N1 flu in Santa Barbara and/or to contact D’Anna
Sandor, assistant to the director of Student Health, at email@example.com for
appropriate triage of specific questions regarding H1N1 flu at UCSB. We intend to
do our best this fall to promote widespread, preventive health measures and a vigorous
immunization campaign on campus. We greatly appreciate your support and urge you
encourage your son or daughter to practice good hygiene and socially responsible
behavior and to become immunized as soon as possible. Although we can’t eliminate
the spread of this virus, our collective efforts can significantly diminish its
reach and overall impact.
Elizabeth Downing, M.D.
University Physician and Director
Student Health Service
Impact of Budget Reductions on Student Services
Few people are unaware of the dire economic straits that the State of California
is experiencing. The state’s financial crisis has had serious impacts on the University
of California, the Santa Barbara campus, and our own Division of Student Affairs.
The UC system received a substantial cut in its state funding last year and is seeing
an even larger cut this year. The reduction translates into a $45 million funding
loss for UCSB alone in 2009-2010.
A funding cut of this magnitude on the heels of a significant loss in 2008-2009
is resulting in some dramatic action from UC President Mark Yudof as he attempts
to bring the university’s spending in line with this year’s resources. Several of
the more visible strategies relate to staffing. The Office of the President has
assessed all currently employed faculty and staff a reduction in salary. Staff members
will also see a decrease in work time based on a percentage scale. These salary
reduction and furlough programs took effect on September 1, 2009, and will extend
at least through August 31, 2010. The furlough program means that almost the entire
University of California non-academic staff is now working on a part-time basis.
The salary reductions and the accompanying furloughs represent an initial effort
by the university to reduce the budgetary shortfall for this fiscal year; however,
these actions are able to address only a fraction of the funding loss. As noted
above, even after these mitigations, the UC Santa Barbara campus is receiving a
budget reduction of $45 million.
Looking to trim expenses, the Santa Barbara campus offered a “voluntary separation
option” (VSO) to its employees with an official separation date of October 31, 2009.
The VSO carries a modest monetary incentive that is intended to encourage some portion
of the staff to leave the university voluntarily and thereby help decrease the size
of the workforce, payroll, and payroll expenses.
UCSB’s Division of Student Affairs has responded to last year’s and this year’s
budget reductions by imposing a freeze on creating new staff positions and refilling
vacated positions. But in the face of such massive funding losses, forced lay-offs
beyond the part-time furloughs and the hiring freeze may be necessary. Additionally,
reductions to the operating budgets of the division’s departments, such as Student
Health, Campus Learning Assistance Services, the Registrar’s Office, the MultiCultural
Center, and the Office of Student Life, will impact not just staff and payroll costs
but also supplies and other expenses, resulting in fewer programs and services available
to students and more charges for the services that are offered.
What exactly should you and your student expect this fall as the academic year begins?
In the Division of Student Affairs, there will be reduced hours of service in many,
if not most, offices—that is, shortened workdays—as well as full closures of departments
on certain days of the week. Many offices may not open until 10:00 AM and may close
at 3:00 or 4:00 PM or during the noon hour. Since there will be fewer staff members
working overall, as well as at any given time, there will likely be longer wait
periods for some services, the elimination of some services and programs, and fewer
out-of-class amenities for students and their families. Despite the budget crisis
and significant funding reductions, we want parents and students to be assured that
we care deeply about our students and the campus environment in which they live
and learn and that we remain committed to providing a high-quality educational and
co-curricular experience for all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at
UCSB. The professionals who work in student affairs are creative, resourceful, and
dedicated and have already spent many hours discussing and planning for this budget
reduction. We are attempting to minimize the negative impact on students and families
while maintaining the exceptional educational experience for which UCSB has become
One outcome of the budget reduction needs to be highlighted here. Future issues
of the Campus Connection will no longer be mailed to the parents of students but
will be posted on the Division of Student Affairs’ Web site at www.sa.ucsb.edu/parentnewsletter.
Past issues are already posted at this address, and future, bi-annual issues will
be available in late March 2010 and then again in early December.
The UCSB Reads program has selected Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario for
winter 2010. Join your son or daughter in reading this gripping and moving story.
Parents’ and Family Weekend will be held November 6-8, 2009. Information about this
event is available at www.ia.ucsb.edu/pfw.
Commencement 2010 dates have been set for Saturday, June 6, 2010 (College of Creative
Studies), and Saturday, June 12, and Sunday, June 13, 2010. Information regarding
the ceremonies is available on the UCSB Commencement Web site at www.ia.ucsb.edu/commencement.
The student and parent liaison is a main point of contact on campus when your student
experiences a crisis or problem, or when you have a question about how best to help
or support your student. You may contact UCSB’s student and parent liaison by calling
805-893-4521 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campus Connection On-line
Campus Connection is published by the University of California,
Santa Barbara, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, to provide news
and resources to the parents and families of UCSB undergraduates.
The University of California, Santa Barbara and the Division of Student Affairs
recognize the diversity of our society and the many important people who have become
"parents " to our students; these include stepmoms, stepdads, uncles,
aunts, grandparents, siblings, friends and others who play a significant and supportive
role in the lives and successes of UCSB undergraduates.
Editor: Candace Stevenson
Copy Editor: Debbie Fleming
Contributors: Elizabeth Downing, Allyn Fleming
Design: Brenda Bernu Reheem
Office of the Vice Chancellor - Student Affairs
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-2036
If you need this document in an alternative format,
please call (805) 893-4521.
Campus Connection is printed on recycled paper.
If you need this document in an alternative format, please call (805) 893-4521.
Campus Connection is printed on recycled paper.