Community work and H1N1 at Bates

To: The Bates and Lewiston-Auburn Communities
From: The Harward Center for Community Partnerships
Date: Oct. 15, 2009

In the wake of the appearance of H1N1 flu cases at Bates, some community partners have expressed understandable concern about Bates students doing community work in the Lewiston-Auburn community.  The College has responded proactively to illness on campus, isolating students who show symptoms of flu-like illness and actively educating students, faculty, and staff about the need for vigilant hygiene and self-monitoring.  We at the Harward Center continue to come to work every day with confidence.

Harward Center staff have already reached out to our most active partnership sites to address their concerns.  Our partners work with many constituencies, and our students perform many kinds of work.  Some partners, including the Lewiston and Auburn public schools, have decided to temporarily cease having Bates students work on site.  Others have decided to maintain student work, while asking students to remain vigilant about their health and hygiene.  We are committed to being guided by our partners’ concerns, and we are eager to work with partners to help them make the decision that seems right to them.

Meanwhile we ask all Bates students, faculty, and staff doing work in community settings to be vigilant in using best hygienic practices and to err on the side of caution if they show any signs of illness or have been exposed to illness.  Please be especially careful if the community work involves children, the elderly, or other vulnerable populations.

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