Sunday, October 18, 2009

ADDITIONAL DETAILS FOLLOW-CERT operational role October 24th/ 25th-support of Medical Reserve Corps activation for H1N1 vaccination site operations

Each of you should have received the email from Dana Powers and Jeffrey Katz this week. The email mentions that the Fairfax County health department activated the county Medical Reserve Corps (MRC).MRC will be conducting H1N1 flu vaccine dispensing activities in 10 vaccination sites county wide on Saturday, October 24th and Sunday October 25th.
The sites will be open from 10am to 4pm on both days.

CERT help has been requested in support of these operations. This is an operational role folks; CERT has been asked to provide external support for the 10 POD (point of dispensing) sites to be opened next weekend. MRC has mobilized almost 1000 volunteers for dispensing site operations and they need our manpower and our skills.

Our role as CERT members will be twofold-the first is parking lot operations. We will direct people into parking spaces when they drive into the POD sites.The POD sites are listed below. This may sound like a less than glamorous job; but I can tell you some of these sites have less than 150 parking spaces available and very large crowds are expected. CERTs working parking lot operations will effectively be ensuring the safety of every client that comes to the site. Glamorous job? No. Important job? Absolutely!!!!!!

I can assure you; it will be a challenge to get people safely parked and to keep citizens from running over each other while in these parking lots. Fairfax County police will be on site in all POD sites; they will generally be located inside the vaccination sites assisting with crowd control duties.

Langston Hughes Middle school in Reston
Franklin Middle school in Chantilly
Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church
Kilmer Middle school in Vienna
Glasgow Middle school in Alexandria
Key Middle school in Springfield
Sandburg Middle school in Alexandria
Liberty Middle school in Clifton
Frost Middle school in Fairfax
South County Secondary school in Lorton.

The second CERT duty will be to direct people to the vaccination site entrance and keep them in line. Intake and screening activities will be conducted by MRC members as soon as they enter the door. Folks, this area will act similarly to our own CERT medical treatment sites-they will be empty at first and then fill up/bottleneck very quickly. In a mass vaccination scenario such as this, a person coming to the site can (on average) expect a two hour wait to complete the process. People will be standing in line for a while, with their children. This will be a challenging task . People will be filling out forms as soon as they come in the door; so our task here is to keep people in line, keep them calm and help keep the line running smoothly.

The only people to be vaccinated at these sites next weekend is children from six months of age to 18 years. These are the age groups most susceptible to H1N1 flu (other risk groups for H1N1-pregnant women and adults over 65 with underlying medical conditions will NOT be vaccinated). So,in these parking lots we manage there will be families and children. Keeping them safe in the parking areas will be our responsibility.

The medical reserve corps badly needs our help. Would you like to step up to the task? They know that the CERT 40/41 exercise is on Saturday October 24th-MRC can use our help on both days; or just one day if you can. If you want to help with a challenging and useful duty to our community, please email Jeffrey Katz at and Dana Powers at with your name, a cellphone number and your CERT class number. This operational role is available to ALL Fairfax County CERT members.

I leave you with some statistics on the current H1N1 flu situation, which was pulled off the CDC website at .

Thanks to all of you for helping out; your community will thank you!

your volunteer PIO
and MRC site assistant

2009-2010 Influenza Season Week 40 ending October 10, 2009

All data are preliminary and may change as more reports are received.

During week 40 (October 4-10, 2009), influenza activity increased in the U.S.

* 4,093 (29.4%) specimens tested by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories and reported to CDC/Influenza Division were positive for influenza.
* All subtyped influenza A viruses being reported to CDC were 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses.
* The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was above the epidemic threshold.
* Eleven influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported. Ten of these deaths were associated with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus infection and one was associated with an influenza A virus, for which subtype is undetermined.
* The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was above the national baseline. All 10 regions reported ILI above region-specific baseline levels.
* Forty-one states reported geographically widespread influenza activity, Guam and eight states reported regional influenza activity, one state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico reported local influenza activity, and the U.S. Virgin Islands did not report.