University System of Georgia Information
USG Response to H1N1 – A Timeline
The University System of Georgia has been prepared well in advance of the H1N1 arrival in Georgia. When the first reports of the virus were being received, the Emergency Operations Committee started preparing to respond to the challenges posed by the H1N1 Influenza A virus. Institutions had already developed Pan Flu plans as a supplement to their existing emergency action plans. These plans had been reviewed as a part of the initial EOPs plan evaluation a few years ago.
Following is a brief timeline of those actions:
- April: Emergency operations coordinators were alerted to the challenges caused by H1N1 and were provided information via the virtual workspace.
- Work groups at USO were established to develop critical guidance for Human Resource issues, business continuity/alternative course delivery issues for information technology.
- Medical advisors were identified to provide accurate, up-to-date information for USG institutions, and continue providing updates and analysis today.
- May 1: EOPs Coordinators participated in a virtual conference, to receive a briefing on H1N1 and to provide updates as to institutions status.
- Phone conference with campus health directors
- Phone conference with campus residence life directors
- May 1: Chancellor Davis issued initial guidance to institutions in advance of any information from emergency management agencies and less than 24 hours after the announcement of the first confirmed case reported in Georgia. This guidance was critical as all the USG institutions were on the eve of graduation ceremonies.
- May 5: As a part of plan reviews, Chancellor Davis notified Presidents of changes/updates to the USG Notifications Plan
- May 8: Work groups released guidance to institutions on human resource challenges and critical information for maintaining critical technology infrastructure systems.
- May 12: Board of Regents briefing conducted as to the current planning, actions and status.
- June 17: EOPS coordinator meeting was held at MSC. Pan Flu preparations were discussed.
- July 10: Pan Flu Workshop conducted for USG institutions as well as private institutions and technical colleges
- July 14: Meeting with RACAA/RACSA to discuss Pan Flu preparations
- August 17: Joint BOR-DCH Letter was issued by Chancellor Davis sent to Presidents.
- August 24: President Freeman sent additional information to USG Presidents on
- EOPS Virtual Emergency Communications Center, in addition to the existing virtual information sharing site, has been launched. Institutions are sharing information via the communication center in reference to H1N1 information. Information includes important resources, training and awareness information as well as status reports. Health Directors and EOPs are able to share information across the system with this platform.
- Sep 2 - 3: Two important meetings are scheduled: September 2 a meeting with USG Health Directors and September 3 a virtual conference with EOPs coordinators. Timing for meeting schedules is to coincide with expected final announcements for vaccination status.
All institutions have existing pandemic flu plans, which include the designation of an institution pandemic response coordinator. Based on the challenges of H1N1, many institutions have adjusted their pan flu plans and continue to meet and talk with campus response/planning committees. Critical information is shared with EOPs Coordinators through the virtual work space and the new emergency virtual communications center is being fully implemented at this time.
USG institutions continue to work with health officials in their immediate area, monitor local conditions and increase campus community awareness of simple preventative measures. Some institutions are providing hand sanitizer dispensers in food service areas and restrooms as well as handing out small personal bottles of sanitizer.
Institutions continue to remain vigilant, share information from reliable, reputable sources and adjust emergency plans as necessary to meet the changing challenges of H1N1.