University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Safety and Security.

Health Emergency

Ensuring a healthy University community

People across campus work every day to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. Many departments provide health services, counseling, food services, housing, facilities management, environmental health, and public safety. These daily efforts prevent health problems at the individual and community level.

What is a health emergency?

A health emergency is the rare situation that creates the potential for widespread illness, possibly death, among a group of people.

Examples of health emergencies:

  • Outbreak of bacterial meningitis
  • A large food borne outbreak
  • Act of bioterrorism such as an intentional release of anthrax spores or another biologic agent
  • Chemical spill or release that results in multiple injuries
  • Influenza pandemic

Health emergencies are often long-term events lasting for weeks or even months. An influenza pandemic may cause significant reductions in the available workforce and threaten our entire infrastructure, causing disruptions in normal services.

How are health emergencies handled on campus?

The Academic Health Center Office of Emergency Response (AHC-OER) coordinates planning for and response to real or perceived health emergencies on campus. Partners from a diverse group of campus departments work together on an Operations Team assembled based on the specifics of the situation. Clinical oversight and administrative support is provided by the Public Health Officer during a health emergency. Additional resources for response are also available through the U of M Medical Reserve Corps.