Influenza (Flu) Questions & Answers (Q & A)

Last Updated: December 14, 2017

Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold or allergies. The flu usually comes on suddenly. Because colds/allergies and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can tell if a person has the flu.

General Q & A:

Does Dallas College have a plan in place to deal with an outbreak of the Flu?

Dallas College has an emergency operations plan that was developed by the college's department of emergency management. The plan is designed to adapt to specific situations or circumstances like the influenza (Flu).

Under what conditions would a campus or a facility close because of an outbreak of influenza (Flu)?

Any decision to close a location would be based on a recommendation from the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department and/or at the discretion of a campus/location president, in consultation with the chancellor’s office and the department of risk management.

What would be the basis/rationale for closing a Dallas College campus/facility because of an outbreak of influenza (Flu)?

Dallas County Health and Human Services is not currently recommending that locations close due to any public health issues.

Who makes the decision to close a campus or facility because of a reported/probable/confirmed case of the Flu?

The campus/location president would make the decision to close a facility, in consultation with the chancellor’s office, the department of emergency management and Dallas County Health and Human Services.

May an event be canceled because of an outbreak of the Flu? Who makes that decision and how should the decision be communicated (and by whom)? 

Yes, an event could be canceled because of an outbreak of the Flu. Currently, Dallas County Health and Human Services does not recommend canceling events due to the Flu. Instead, the department recommends that everyone follow good health practices such as the regular washing of hands. The campus president would make that decision, in consultation with the chancellor’s office and the department of emergency management. Consistency is important as we make these types of decisions.

How and when would such a closure be reported to students? To employees? To the general public?

Initial announcements may be made using the campus telephone PA and/or fire PA systems if a closing occurred during classroom hours. Other announcements may be posted on the college website and social media. Another option is using the college's notification system “Dallas College Alerts” which uses e-mails, text messages, and voice messages. Messages are sent to e-mails and phone numbers provided to the college by students and employees. The general public could be notified using announcements sent to area news outlets by the college's public and governmental affairs/media relations office.

Who would be responsible for reporting a closure to students, employees and the general public?

A college closing announcement would come from the campus president’s office.

Should all campuses/locations close if one campus or location must close?

No. Each campus/location is evaluated individually, based on its own unique circumstances.

How often are facilities and bathrooms cleaned?

Restrooms are cleaned an average of four times each day. Facilities, in general, are cleaned at least twice daily.

What teams are collaborating to provide information to the college about Flu procedures and decision-making processes?

The following teams are collaborating to provide information to the district about Flu procedures and decision-making processes: legal counsel, emergency management, risk management, the chancellor’s office, district human resources, public and governmental affairs/media relations and our campuses.​​