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Posted on January 10 at 3:40 a.m.
It is important to be mindful that when people are closely congregated during winter months, colds, the flu and other infectious diseases pose a serious concern.Action Versus Influenza urges the community to consider thoughtful efforts to instill best practices of cough hygiene among persons sharing indoor space and urge administrators and funding agencies to work with community health education projects such as the Alliance to Teach Everywhere About Community Health www.causes.com/teach which also has a petition urging the administrators of the warming centers to work us which Indy readers may wish to view at http://www.causes.com/causes/808168-a...
After talking to various officials including Santa Barbara Public Health Department, we feel that within the next two weeks there will be a serious uptick in flu which will problematize the warming center model. In conjunction with Health Empowerment and Love (HEAL) we have been able to harmonize public health interests with the socio-cultural realities of the unhoused with a unique program in which neighbors without homes model correct cough etiquette in exchange for very nice LED headlamps.
We are hopeful that the Unitarian Society managers of the warming center will expedite implementation of heightened infection control measures including mandatory cough etiquette, WASH protocols(water,sanitation and handwashing), graphics and partitioning or relocation of individuals exhibiting ILI (influenza-like illness). Obviously, vaccination availability should be immediate for any and all warming center patrons who are willing to take it.
The vaccine is only 60-80% effective, and we also have a small letter urging NIH funding for a better vaccine. http://www.change.org/petitions/natio...
However, many people will refuse vaccination, which is why it is important to support integration of emergency shelter interests with community health interests. Readers may wish to join us in supporting a reconcilation process via http://www.change.org/petitions/hud-h...
- Geof Bardthefluguru@gmail.com
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