News Releases

Additional H1N1 Flu-related Policies and Procedures

Update (November 12, 2009): H1N1 Flu Vaccinations Available on Evanston Campus Nov. 17-19


To: Northwestern Law Community

Re: Additional H1N1 Flu-related Policies and Procedures

Date: September 11, 2009

Earlier this morning, Northwestern issued a statement regarding preparedness plans and preventative measures related to H1N1 influenza (swine flu). We have been working closely with university officials and public health agencies to prepare for the upcoming flu season and the possibility of a wider outbreak of H1N1 flu. I am writing to reinforce these measures and to outline the Law School’s policies and procedures for handling H1N1 flu-related absences during the coming year.


A. Prevention and Care

We can all help prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu and minimize its impact on our community.

First, it is important that you stay informed, and we urge everyone to carefully review the following information sources.

Second, it is important for you to practice the following CDC preventative and care-related measures that were mentioned in the University’s message:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners, such as Purell, are also effective. Bring your own Purell or other hand sanitizer to campus and use it frequently. We also will have hand sanitizers stationed throughout our facilities.
  • Get a flu vaccine shot for seasonal flu.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it, then wash your hands.
  • Bring your own thermometers so you can take your own temperature to determine whether you have a fever.
  • If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, stay home and isolate yourself so you do not spread the illness to others. People with fever (temperature of 100 degrees F/37.8 degrees C or greater) AND either a cough or sore throat should isolate themselves from others until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.


B. Absences

Due to these additional precautions and the possible spread of flu, we anticipate an increase in absences among students, faculty, and staff. As a result, we are advising all faculty and supervisors to use common-sense leniency in regard to absences.

Additionally, you should take the following specific steps if you will be absent due to flu-related reasons.

For Students:

  1. To help us monitor the situation, please send an e-mail to and contact all professors to report your absence along with the reason.
  2. Please arrange to get class notes from a colleague (or two), ask your professor(s) if audio recording of a class is permissible (individual class session recording is at the professor’s discretion), or make other arrangements under the direction of your professor(s).

For Faculty:

  1. To help us monitor the situation, please report your absence by contacting and post the information on Blackboard at the earliest possible time.
  2. To make up any cancelled classes, faculty should reschedule the session(s) or, if a make-up is not possible, make an audio recording of the session material and post it on Blackboard when able. Please also note that students who are absent may ask your permission to create an audio recording of a class session. Law school policy leaves the recording of individual class sessions at your discretion.

For Staff:

  1. To help us monitor the situation, please report your absences to and your department supervisor.
  2. Once healthy and back at work, please make arrangements with your supervisor to complete outstanding projects and work assignments.

We appreciate everyone’s cooperation in carrying out these important steps. We will continue to monitor the situation throughout the year and will keep you informed should circumstances or procedures change.

Posted: September 11, 2009