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WOU campus will reopen on Tuesday, May 5


Call 503-838-8026 for a recorded notice


May 4, 2009 – Monmouth, Oregon: Western Oregon University announced late this afternoon that it will be re-opening the campus tomorrow, on Tuesday, May 5, after conferring with local and state health officials today. The campus closed last week on Friday, May 1 as a precautionary measure after a WOU student was diagnosed with a probable H1N1 virus case that has since been confirmed by the Center for Disease Control as positive.


John Minahan, president of WOU, said, "Given the unique specifics of this H1N1 case at WOU, including the student’s fast recovery, the low severity of the case, and because we have had no other reported cases to date, the campus will re-open tomorrow. This complies with recommended closure procedures through an appropriate incubation period, which is now completed based on the initial date of onset of the student’s illness. Please be assured that the re-opening was done after conferring with top officials at the Polk County Health department, and the State Department of Public Health. Student safety is our primary concern, and there is agreement among the state and local agencies involved that in this particular case, re-opening the campus does not present a health risk to our students and campus community."


WOU and Oregon University System officials have worked very closely with the local and state health agencies since last week to determine the best course of action to protect students, the campus community and public health and safety. Health officials are reminding the public that each case of 2009 H1N1 influenza must be treated in specific regard to the circumstances of the case, including the level of the patient’s illness, responsiveness to treatment, the incubation period of the illness, and other environmental circumstances.


At this time, all on-campus university classes, events, and other activities will re-start tomorrow, May 5 on the normal schedule.


“I am proud of our campus community in its response to this challenge,” said Minahan. “I thank the agencies and medical personnel who assisted our students. And, I thank students, staff, and faculty for their efforts in following state health guidelines and helping to contain the spread of the virus. Lastly, I wish to thank the entire WOU community for its understanding and flexibility.”


WOU is asking any student, faculty or staff person who experiences any flu-like symptoms to please seek immediate medical attention at the campus health clinic, or from their regular health practitioner. For more information about the H1N1 virus go to the Oregon Department of Human Services website to


Original closure notice (April 30)

A message from Western Oregon University President John Minahan:

WOU campus will be closed through Monday pending possible swine flu virus confirmation.

Dear Campus Community:

A Western Oregon University student exhibited flu-like symptoms earlier this week. The student tested positive for influenza A at the WOU Student Health Center. The student, who lives off campus, is receiving medical treatment.

The Polk County Health Department was notified and the specimen was sent to the State of Oregon Health Department Lab. This afternoon, we received notification that the specimen would require further testing by the Center for Disease Control; indications are likely that the diagnosis is a case of the 2009 H1N1 influenza (swine flu). The results of the CDC testing will be known within the next few days; we expect to have those results by Monday.

At this time, all on-campus university events are canceled through Monday, including closure of the Werner University Center and the Hamersly Library. The decision to re-open campus will be determined when the results of the CDC testing have been received. At the recommendation of the Oregon Department of Public Health, we encourage students living on campus to continue living in their residence halls until more definitive information is obtained. Students living off campus are asked to stay within their current living community. All faculty and staff are requested to stay home, unless contacted by their supervisor.

Polk County Health Department has been involved in the student’s diagnostic procedures and will take further actions as appropriate. We will keep you updated as more information is obtained, and as we are advised by the Oregon Department of Human Services on any further action that must be taken.

The Polk County Health Department is working with WOU to contact members of the campus community who were in close contact with the student. The Department and WOU will be providing advice on how to cooperate with efforts to limit any spread of this flu; how you can identify signs of the flu; steps you should take if you need treatment. If you experience any flu-like symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention. Additional information will be provided as soon it becomes known.

John P. Minahan President

April 30, 2009 press release click here.


Swine flu information and tips

The Oregon Public Health website is updated regularly to provide information such as how to identify swine flu, prevent its spread as well as materials that employers, medical providers, schools, parents and others may use. In a press release today, the Oregon Department of Human Services offered the following guidance:

Actions people can take to prevent the spread of the flu:

-- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.

-- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve, not with your hand;

-- Stay home if you are sick;

-- Try to avoid contact with people who are ill; and

-- Practice other good health habits such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting sufficient rest and not smoking.

Swine flu is a respiratory disease in pigs whose spread to humans has been historically rare in the U.S. Its symptoms are similar to those of normal seasonal influenza such as fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing, sometimes accompanied by runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Eating pork that has been properly handled and cooked will not transmit the virus.

For more information about swine flu, visit the following resources:

-- (information in English and Spanish)

-- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: click here.

-- Travel information: click here.

-- World Health Organization (WHO): click here.

-- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hotline at 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636)


Please read the following for more information

It is the general policy of Western Oregon University to remain open unless it is determined that safety is compromised by adverse conditions or lack of utility services.  If the decision is made that conditions have compromised the safety of the campus one of the following decisions will be made by the University:

  • Campus is open for business services only/classes are cancelled
  • Campus opening is delayed/business services and classes are delayed
  • Campus is closed for the day/business services and classes are cancelled

If the campus is closed, classified employees will be allowed to use accrued vacation, compensatory time, personal leave, exchange time or take leave without pay to cover work time missed due to the closure or delayed opening.  If the campus is closed after classified employees have reported at their scheduled time for their work shift, the employees will be paid for the remainder of the day.


In all cases, administrative staff should contact their supervisor regarding their work schedule.


All normal work functions are expected to stop in the event of closure or delay.

Only employees authorized as essential will be paid for work during a campus closure.


If you have any questions,

Contact the Office of Human Resources at 503-838-8490.


Judy J. Vanderburg
Director, Human Resources & Affirmative Action Officer
Telephone:  503-838-8131
FAX:  503-838-8144


Western Oregon University 838-8925 | or e-mail: