IST PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS PLAN AND STAGE DESCRIPTIONS
- To provide a highly controlled, low-risk environment for our students and employees.
- To adopt flexible means that will ensure minimal disruption to the students’ education.
B. AREAS FOR CONSIDERATION
There are four main areas that the school has taken into consideration for planning purposes:
- Health and hygiene
- Educational program
- Employee contracts and welfare
C. GUIDING PRINCIPLES
The following principles apply to the implementation of the contingency plan:
- Recognize the primacy of expert advice: The school regularly seeks advice from the following sources: the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control (US), the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Tianjin Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Local Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Jinnan District), and the Raffles Clinic.
- Seek and provide information: The school seeks and validates information from multiple sources including government departments, embassies, UN agencies and inter-school networks. It regularly disseminates information to the school community.
- Devise and evaluate strategies: The strategies for combating potential flu pandemics are broadly outlined in a four-stage plan. The Task Force will evaluate and modify strategies in response to changing circumstances.
- Provide optional courses of action for community members: The school leadership has neither the expertise nor the authority to make life decisions for members of the community. It will therefore provide optional courses of action, for example in the areas of program completion by students, and contractual decisions by employees.
- Control rumors: Members of the IST community are expected to report all rumors regarding the influenza to the Task Force. The Task Force will investigate all rumors and report its findings to the community.
D. THE FOUR-STAGE PLAN
- Strict health and hygiene measures in school.
- Education and advice for students, staff and parents on the nature of influenza and preventative measures including personal hygiene, vaccination and healthy life style.
- Continuously seek information and advice from relevant authorities including WHO, CDC, Raffles, the Chinese/Tianjin governments and foreign embassies.
- Purchase and stock maintenance of disinfectant and cleaning materials and other items including face-masks and non-contact thermometers.
- Plan web-based academic program and other means for home study, for use in an emergency situation.
- Students may not bring drinking cups for use in the classrooms. They should bring drinking bottles or flasks to school each day and take them home daily for washing. The purpose of this measure is to reduce the risk of infection from dirty cups.
- All students who have been absent from school must report to the School Clinic to be checked by the School Nurse before re-admission to class. The purpose of this measure, which applies to all students who have missed any school, apart from those on school sponsored trips, is to lower the risk of contagion between students.
- When cases of transmission are reported in Tianjin’s surrounding provinces (Beijing and Hebei), or in provinces from which the school caterer sources products, the Influenza Task Force will meet immediately to determine the level of risk and to decide whether or not the school should stop the use of certain food products.
- Restrict to school campus of all people who have visited regions declared to have been infected.
- If the areas declared to have been infected include Beijing/Tianjin/Tanggu, the security staff will restrict entry to the campus of all people except students, staff, parents, IST drivers and essential suppliers.
- If the areas declared to have been infected include Beijing/Tianjin/Tanggu, the school nurse will monitor the health of all students, staff, parents, IST drivers, and essential suppliers upon entry to the school campus.
- All students and staff sent home sick with flu-like symptoms will remain at home for a mandatory 5 consecutive days before being checked by the school nurse prior to readmission to school.
- Students, staff and parents advised not to visit livestock markets.
- Immediately cease the use of certain food products in school, when of transmission are reported in Tianjin.
STAGE 3: REPORT
- Comply with all instructions and advice from relevant authorities including Chinese and Tianjin governments and World Health Organization.
- Prohibit all visitors to school campus except students, staff, parents, IST drivers and essential suppliers. Parents, IST drivers, and essential suppliers will be restricted from entering the school buildings.
- Monitor health of all students, staff, parents, IST drivers, and essential suppliers entering the school campus.
- Prohibit entry to the campus of any person who has traveled, or whose family members have traveled, to an infected region.
- Upon medical advice, prohibit entry to school campus of any person who has not received an influenza vaccination within the previous twelve months.
- According to circumstances, implement additional measures to prevent infection, including cancellation of all field trips, social events and sporting fixtures.
STAGE 4: SCHOOL ORDERED OR ADVISED TO CLOSE
- If the school is ordered or advised to close by relevant authorities such as Chinese or Tianjin governments or World Health Organization, implement the web-based academic program and other home study strategies for students.
- Make decisions regarding staff welfare and employment based on staff contracts, applicable school policies, Chinese/Tianjin government directives, advice from WHO, and in the case of expatriate employees, the advice of the United States Embassy.
E. HOW PARENTS CAN HELP
- Do not send your children to school when they have a cough, cold, or fever. Students who come to school in this condition will be sent home immediately, and will not be re-admitted until they have completed a period of quarantine of 5 consecutive days and have been checked by the school nurse.
- Remind your child about the need to use tissues when coughing and sneezing, and to wash their hands after using the toilet.
- Have your family vaccinated against influenza. Flu vaccinations are available at a very reasonable cost in Tianjin.
- Ensure that your children eat a balanced, healthy diet, pay close attention to personal hygiene, and get plenty of sleep.