The University will follow recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and the State and Knox County health departments in the event of a health crisis. The administration will use campus communication methods to share information about health hazards and the impact they will have on campus operations. Your actions make a difference in controlling the spread of pandemic viruses.
Likely Actions in the Early Stages of a Pandemic
Awareness and training efforts to reinforce key prevention measures and control the spread of disease:
- Monitor updates for information on vaccinations, precautions and policy/procedure changes that result from a pandemic outbreak in the area.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds—especially before eating and after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If a tissue is not available, cough into your shirt sleeve.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way.
- Do NOT share your food, drink or utensils with others.
- Avoid close contact with sick people. Onset of symptoms can take up to three days after you’ve been exposed to the virus.
- If you become sick, stay home and avoid contact with others until you’ve been symptom-free for 24 hours. A mild, lingering cough may occur and, as long as there are no other symptoms, this shouldn’t prevent proceeding with your normal activities.
Progression of University Actions if the Disease Continues to Spread
UT will institute other procedures to limit the spread of disease such as:
- Travel restrictions and cancellations based on warnings from the U.S. State Department travel advisory system.
- Social distancing procedures which may include restricting face-to-face meetings in favor of alternate communication means, restrictions on public gatherings, an increase in remote delivery of instruction and telecommuting, and any other procedures that reduce exposure.
- Quarantine and isolation are not a University policy, but may become necessary for persons presenting symptoms who are unable to find alternate accommodations.
- Finally, it may become necessary to suspend campus operations to critical support functions until the threat has passed.
- Each department should have a pandemic plan in place which includes the option of telecommuting.