As H1N1 declines, York returns to normal absence reporting procedures

Effective Monday, March 15, York University will no longer require centralized reporting of absences and will revert to its regular practice of requiring physician’s notes for employee absences as specified in collective agreements and Human Resources operating procedures. 

This announcement follows recommendation made on March 1 by the Pandemic Influenza Planning Committee to the provost, Senate executive and senior administration. The committee’s recommendations are:

  • York University cease the online tracking of absences of students and employees (due to H1N1 or "flu like symptoms");
  • the University revert to its normal practices of requiring physician’s notes for student petitions and requests for deferred standing, and for employee absences as specified in collective agreements and the Department of Human Resources operating procedures.  

The committee made its recommendations based on the following developments:

  • the Public Health Agency Canada issued a statement on Jan. 27 that it had officially declared the second wave of H1N1 influenza as passed;
  • there has been no indication of a re-emergence of a widespread outbreak of H1N1 over the past two months, and the likelihood of a re-emergence in the next several months remains low;
  • there has been a significant drop in the number of reported student absences due to H1N1 or flu like symptoms since early January; and following advice received from Toronto Public Health.

The University Provost, Senate executive and senior administration have accepted the recommendations of the Pandemic Influenza Planning Committee. 

The World Health Organization continues to assess the level of pandemic alert for H1N1 at Phase 6 (full pandemic alert). The Pandemic Committee recommends that all members of the community remain vigilant with respect to level of awareness and flu prevention measures. 

In this regard, hand sanitizer dispensers will continue to be replenished, influenza prevention notices will continue to be posted in washrooms, offices and in publicly accessible corridors. Custodians in academic and residential buildings will continue to focus on a standard of cleaning in and around washrooms and in high traffic areas consistent with the current level of cleaning practice.