Last update on July 13, 2012

To all QCRH Employees and Board of Directors,

All of you are aware through recent communications that we are monitoring the progression of the Swine Flu. This monitoring is one of the first steps from a plan we had developed called the "QCRH Pandemic Flu Preparedness Plan" ("the plan"). 

With the help of many people this plan was developed proactively to guide us through actions during an event. In this plan we also developed a set of four stages (listed below) with a brief description to help us determine the level of responses and possible actions we could take. At this time we are at "Stage One - Yellow" (see below) based on what we know to date from both local, national and world agencies monitoring the situation.

In Stage One - Yellow we have been reviewing "the plan" with staff (previously e-mailed to you or available by clicking here. We have and will continue to communicate to our executive management team and our banks boards our status relative to what is taking place around us. Please know that we are continually monitoring the situation, and will keep you informed if we elevate the level of response based on our assessment.

QCRH Pandemic Flu Outbreak Stage Assessment

Following the initial assessment, QCRH classifies the Pandemic Flu outbreak as one of four stage levels:

Stage Level Definition
Stage One  Yellow Limited novel flu virus transmission abroad, no or limited transmissions in local area: This stage to be announced in media or local health department notices.
Stage Two  Orange Sustained novel flu virus transmission in the area with a large number of cases. This stage to be announced in media or local health department notices.
Stage Three  Red Sustained novel flu virus transmission in the area with a large number of cases and public health control measures appear to be ineffective; emergency sick leave policy to be ordered by authorities. Local health authorities should announce this stage in the media.
Stage Four  Pink Decreases in number of new reported cases and eventual control of transmission are reported. Health authorities should announce this stage in the media. Begin standing down from level three by gradually restoring member access and services.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has assessed all available information, and based on the findings, has raised the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5. Phase 5 (of a possible 6) is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short. For your information, Phase 6 is called the pandemic phase and is characterized by community level outbreaks in at least one country in a different WHO region in addition to the criteria defined in Phase 5.

QCRH Pandemic Flu Preparedness Response Team is at Stage 1 Yellow: Continues to monitor the situation  The QCRH Pandemic Flu Preparedness Response Team and the QCRH Executive Management Team continues to monitor the situation throughout the day and will keep you informed of any actions we are taking as a company.

Company Updates

  • Via this website. Please do not share this site with non-employees.
  • Telephone updates are available thru our Employee Hot Line at ###-###-####.
  • Company email.

What You Can Do To Stay Healthy

  • Stay informed. The Center for Disease Control - Click here to access the CDC website.
  • If you are wondering about travel, click here to access tips from the CDC website.
  • Another good website is the World Health Organization
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread easily that way.
  • Stay home if you are sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Be Aware of the Symptoms of Swine Flu

  • Fever (greater than 100 degrees F)
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Headache and body ache
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Click here for more information on the CDC website.

Sources: CDC and WHO Corporate Communication