University preparations for a mild outbreak of the H1N1 flu call for ill students to isolate themselves in their dorm rooms or apartments until 24 hours after their fever is gone.
But a Princeton task force that met over the summer decided that in a worst-case scenario, with widespread cases of a virulent form of the virus on campus and in the surrounding region, students who require medical care would be isolated on the lowest level of Jadwin Gym.
Students checking in to their dorms this month were given guidelines to follow if they develop flulike symptoms. They are instructed to call University Health Services and to take meals in their rooms and stay away from classes and social events until the fever has been gone for at least 24 hours. They would leave their rooms only to obtain medical care.
Roommates of a sick student would be relocated temporarily to other campus housing. McCosh Infirmary could accommodate 15 students who are seriously ill or who could be at risk of complications because of pre-existing medical conditions. If needed, an additional 10 beds would be made available at McCosh by moving some services to other locations.
The worst-case scenario assumes that more students are ill and more would require medical attention, at a time when hospitals in the region would not be able to receive students because they also would be coping with an additional influx of flu patients.
In this scenario, University spokeswoman Cass Cliatt ’96 said, the lowest level of Jadwin’s five levels would house ill students because it is isolated and because it has its own shower facilities.
The University also is encouraging faculty and staff members to stay at home if they develop symptoms associated with the flu.
“We all need to work together to keep the spread of infection to a minimum,” Cliatt said.
As of late August, she said, the University was awaiting guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control on availability of the H1N1 vaccine.