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Clinical staff are on the front lines of fighting a potential “twindemic”

With COVID cases rising again, preventing influenza is more important than ever. Staff can help reduce the risk to our patients by getting immunized.

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The official start of flu season is fast approaching and with it the risk of a “twindemic.” COVID-19 cases are rising again after a summer dip, so it’s more important than ever that we keep our patients, our loved ones and ourselves safe from infection.

We know as health care providers that influenza can have serious consequences for our patients, particularly infants, the elderly, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems.

Clinical staff members represent the largest employee population within Asante and are the most vulnerable to getting influenza — and passing it on to others. For this reason, Asante encourages all employees to get immunized before flu season begins. The goal is 90% staff immunization to achieve herd immunity.

Employee flu clinics began last week on all campuses and will continue throughout the fall. If you haven’t yet received your shot, you will have other opportunities to get immunized, including through unit rounding by the flu team. You can also get a vaccination and 2020-21 badge ring at an Employee Health office or Asante Pharmacy.

If you cannot or choose not to be vaccinated, you must submit a medical exemption/declination form by Nov. 30.

Vaccination and masking are only parts of the equation. There are other simple steps you can take to prevent the spread of flu:

  • Clean your hands when entering and leaving a patient’s room — always.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your cough and nose with a tissue or your arm. Batman cough!
  • Stay home when ill.
  • Clean and disinfect objects you frequently touch, such as pens, stethoscopes or shared equipment.

Flu prevention is a team sport and it starts with our care providers. Look for updates and FAQs on the 2020-2021 Flu Season page, heed flu campaign communications and familiarize yourself with Asante’s Universal Pandemic Precautions policy.

This season, please protect our patients, your loved ones and yourself.

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