Although the end of the school year is days away, officials at the University of Maine in Orono and Husson University in Bangor are still following their standard procedures for dealing with situations such as a potential outbreak of swine flu virus.
For now, both schools are following the lead of Dr. Dora Anne Mills at the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We have a plan for situations like this, and we have begun to implement it,” said UMaine spokesman Joe Carr. “We’re paying close attention to the information from the state CDC and other sources. We’ve been relaying Dr. Mills’ recommendations as far as covering up coughs, all those things.”
Both Husson and UMaine classes end Friday, with finals scheduled next week and graduation ceremonies set for Saturday, May 9. Student populations should drop considerably after those events.
UMaine houses around 3,800 students on campus, while Husson has around 900 students living on campus.
Departments on the UMaine campus such as campus police, facilities, health center, housing, and student affairs have been in regular contact, Carr added.
Posters illustrating proper coughing technique and infection prevention have been placed around the Husson campus, spokeswoman Julie Green said. The school also sent out a general e-mail with information about controlling the spread of infection and what to do if you’re feeling ill.
“At this time we are continuing to provide health services to all students who seek care at the student health center,” Green said. “We are carefully monitoring and assessing their health conditions as they present. We reiterate healthy practices and provide guidelines for when to seek additional care.”
Green said Husson has been putting together a pandemic flu planning committee in collaboration with Kathy Knight, the director of the Northeastern Maine Regional Resource Center, and other groups. The committee won’t have a chance to meet until after graduation activities are finished.