University becomes 'drive-in' force in flu preparation
“The demand on health services is definitely up this year,” she said. “Each of our doctors sees up to 40 patients every day. On Monday (Sept. 28), our staff saw 252 patients; they saw 174 patients the same day last year. However, despite being worn out, our morale is high. We know we are making a difference in flu prevention and response on campus.”
Beck said she expects H1N1 to peak in the next few weeks, when cases of seasonal flu are expected to emerge. She said the university has ordered 15,000 H1N1 vaccines to cover students, staff and faculty and that outdoor flu clinics on campus will be planned.
“We will continue to reach out to students, faculty and staff and go to where they are on campus,” said Beck, who cites successful collaboration between university health staff, parking officials and nursing faculty to make the clinics possible.
Thomas Collins, emergency manager for Lexington County, observed the drive-through clinic along with other county officials in preparation for a series of drive-through flu clinics for H1N1 the county will host in late fall and early winter.
Students gathering on campus to get flu shots aren’t the only visible signs of flu awareness and preparedness on campus. More than 10,000 flu kits were distributed during Move-in Day. Hundreds of flu-fact posters don bulletin boards, and more than 150 hand-sanitizer stations have been installed in residence halls, classroom and campus buildings, dining facilities and other high traffic areas.