Minneapolis outlines plans for H1N1 flu response

To ensure that Minneapolis is prepared and able to respond appropriately to the H1N1 flu virus, the City's public health and emergency preparedness officials have been updating the City's emergency response plan. On Monday, Sept. 21, Gretchen Musicant, Commissioner of Health and Family Support presented to the City Council’s Health, Energy and Environment Committee how the City plans to respond to a local outbreak of the H1N1 flu.

During her presentation, Musicant outlined the City's plans for vaccination implementation and dispensing strategies, City workforce protection, and how the City will ensure continuity of critical City functions.

Health and Family Support is following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines when it comes to recommending who receives H1N1 vaccine. The top priority group to receive the H1N1 vaccine includes pregnant women, household contacts and caregivers of children under six months of age, and health care and emergency personnel. The City's vaccination strategy includes encouraging people to visit their regular health care provider, working with the Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency to assist with vaccinations of first responders and high risk individuals, providing vaccinations at schools, community and employer-based sites, and mass immunizations and North and South High Schools.

To protect the City's workforce, Health and Family Support has produced a number of educational materials including a training DVD. The department will also be providing infection control and safety guidance along with Personal Protective Equipment and supplies.

The City's plans to ensure continuity of critical City functions will be approved by the City Council in October. These plans included guidance on workforce protection and revisions to Human Resources policy.

Sept. 21, 2009

Published Sep. 21, 2009