University responds to safety concerns

Princeton NJ -- University officials have taken several steps in recent days to improve campus safety and security following the discovery of anthrax elsewhere in the state and the nation.

For the most recent information, members of the University community are encouraged to check the home page on the Web at <>. More in-depth information also is being posted on the Crisis Response Web page at <>. These pages are updated as new information becomes available, sometimes several times a day. Those with questions and concerns also can call a special response line at 258-7700.

Measures taken in the last two weeks include:

• In an effort to ensure maximum safety with mail delivery following the discovery of a small amount of anthrax spores at the main Princeton post office in West Windsor, through which the University's mail is delivered, the University: suspended delivery of outside mail on the main campus and the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab to allow time for the implementation of an education and training program on mail procedures; offered this program for all interested faculty, staff and students and required those who handle bulk mail in bins to attend; and prohibited part-time employees and students from distributing mail for a period of time. This information was e-mailed to the University community and posted on the Web.

• The University formed an Emergency Preparedness Task Force to review existing planning and preparedness efforts and to develop appropriate responses to credible threats to the health and safety of the University community. The task force has been meeting regularly and has created a Web page at <>.

• Frequently asked questions about preparedness and anthrax were posted on the Crisis Response Web page. The document addresses issues ranging from how the University is protecting the campus to what people can do to minimize anxiety and reduce false alarms. It is frequently being updated with new information.

• A statement from Dr. Janet Neglia, director of clinical services for the University Health Services, regarding an incident at the Frist Campus Center was posted on the Crisis Response Web page and e-mailed to members of the University community. A powdery substance was found Oct. 22 on a computer keyboard on the 100 level of the center. The substance was analyzed and found not to be anthrax. That information also was posted on the Web.

• University Health Services has made available quick-detection flu kits. Students who exhibit flu-like symptoms (fever, muscle aches and cough) are encouraged to seek care at McCosh Health Center. People infected by inhalation anthrax normally exhibit flu-like symptoms. The test helps healthcare providers in their diagnostic efforts by confirming that cases are flu and not anthrax. Information about the kits was posted on the Web. In addition, free flu shots are being made available to students, faculty and staff; details are posted on the Web.

• Pertinent information about safety and security was added to the Crisis Response Web page. It covers topics ranging from campus security precautions to travel information.


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