New flu guide available to Illinois schools

By press release

Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich has announced the release of a new guide for Illinois schools to proactively plan and prepare for pandemic flu outbreaks. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) jointly prepared the School Guidance During an Influenza Pandemic document.”

School administrators would face challenges like determining when to require sick students, teachers and staff to stay home or when to close their schools. This guide will help them prepare for these kinds of decisions,” said Blagojevich.

Read more here, including a good outline of materials available.

The actual site for the materials is

School Pandemic Planning Guidance

This publication, adapted from Contra Costa County, California Health Services, serves as a guide to important pandemic issues, solutions, and communications for schools. However, it is not the intention of the Illinois Department of Public Health or the Illinois State Board of Education to negate any of the important work that districts and schools may already have completed. As such, this guide is not intended to replace your existing pandemic plans, but to supplement the efforts that districts and schools have already undertaken.

In various file formats–
Section I. The Planning Process
* School Action Steps
* K-12 School Pandemic Planning Checklist
* Child Care and Preschool Pandemic Planning Checklist
* Public Health Instructions During an Influenza Pandemic
* Characteristics and Challenges
* Stopping Germs

Section II. Parent Information and Community Outreach
* Sample Parent Letters
o Preparation
o First Bird Case
o Illinois Cases
o Expanded Outbreak/School Closures
o Reopening Schools
* Parent Tips
* Items to Have on Hand for an Extended Stay at Home
* Pandemic Flu Planning Checklist for Individuals and Families
* American Red Cross Home Care for Pandemic Flu
* Media Outreach/Sample Key Messages for Schools
o Schools Open
o Schools Closed

Section III. Surveillance
* Surveillance and Reporting
* Daily Influenza Census
* Weekly Influenza Census

Section IV. Fact Sheets
* What is an Influenza Pandemic?
* Avian Flu
* How Does Seasonal Flu Differ from Pandemic Flu

Section V. Posters and Promotional Materials
* Stopping the Flu is Up to You
* Seasonal Flu v. Pandemic Flu
* Keep Our School Healthy
* Power Point Presentation

Section VI. Information and Resources on the Web

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