Basic Healthy Practices
Here are a few common sense things you can do to help:
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective and are available in public restrooms on campus. Use paper towel to exit a restroom, discard used towel outside restroom doorway in the nearest recepticle.
- Practice respiratory etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder, not into your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; germs are spread this way.
- Know the signs and symptoms of the flu. A fever is a temperature taken with a thermometer that is equal to or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius. Look for possible signs of fever: if the person feels very warm, has a flushed appearance, or is sweating or shivering.
- Students, faculty, and staff should stay home, or in your residence hall, if you have flu or flu-like illness for at least 24 hours after you 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). Don't go to class or work.
- Talk with your health care providers about whether you should be vaccinated for the yearly seasonal flu. The Seminary will be hosting seasonal flu vaccination clinics October 14th, but there are other dates and places in town. Watch your e-mail for dates and times.
- H1N1 vaccinations. If you are at higher risk for flu complications from 2009 H1N1 flu, you should consider getting the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available. People at higher risk include pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes). More information about priority groups (see CDC information) for vaccination.
WHAT A FLU OUTBREAK MEANS FOR CHAPEL
Especially because cases of swine flu have been reported in Gettysburg, it makes sense to be aware of the implications of infection for our worship life, and to take steps to keep the community as healthy as possible. The Worship, Music, and the Arts Committee will be talking about these steps at its first meeting, but even in the meantime, here are some ways we're working on it:
Hand Sanitizers: Hand sanitizers will be available in all bathrooms and at the entrance to chapel.
Sharing the Peace: Worshippers may wish to use a sign other than shaking hands to share the peace. Those concerned about infecting others might bow to one another, for instance, or grasp forearms rather than hands.
Communing: Generally, both common cup and pouring chalices are available at every Communion service, and we’ll continue that practice. Presiders and sacristans will be prepared for more people than usual to use the pouring chalice. Presiders will also be encouraged to avoid means of distribution, such as intinction, that are more likely to facilitate the spread of disease than others. Those distributing bread will also, of course, be particularly careful about washing and sanitizing their hands before distributing.
ELCA Worship Resources
"Worship in Times of Public Health Concerns" is at http://www.ELCA.org/worship and information about preparing for a pandemic flu is at http://tinyurl.com/dfu3s2 on the ELCA Web site.