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Guidelines for Conducting Extension Programs During Public Health Emergencies

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The recent outbreaks of H1N1 flu virus have raised questions within Extension about when to cancel Extension programs due to public health emergencies. Guidelines outlining the procedures to use in the event of a public health emergency are now available on the employee website.

To summarize the guidelines: Extension programs will be delivered in a manner consistent with local and state public health directives so as to not compromise the safety of the program participants or the staff. Decisions on conducting programs in locations where heightened public health concerns exist will be based on recommendations of local public health officials and the local situation. Program staff will work with the regional director to contact the local public health official for the recommendation based on the local situation. Program leaders/supervisors will work with the program staff and regional director to make the final decisions.

As always, the health and safety of the Extension staff and program participants is the highest priority. Recommended best practices for the recent H1N1 flu virus includes avoiding program attendance when ill, covering coughs and washing hands.

Bob Byrnes
MN EDEN Coordinator and Regional Director

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