Area colleges don't know if a widespread flu outbreak will take place this year, but if it does, they're ready.
Most campuses have a full pandemic plan in place if the H1N1 virus -- commonly known as the swine flu -- spreads uncontrollably.
At Goshen College, that means designating isolation areas for students with the flu, said Frank Johnson, special assistant to the president and crisis management coordinator.
"We have the ability to scale this as the situation would warrant," Johnson said.
Right now, the school has two floors designated for isolation -- one for men and one for women. He said administrators dedicated a small group housing unit to isolation because they wanted students to still be able to have a sense of community.
He said if an outbreak were to occur, the school would take over a portion of a dorm for isolation. If more space was needed, the school would then use a full dorm. The last step would be a complete campus lockdown, Johnson said.
So far, though, only one student has been in isolation, and he has since recovered. He said about 15 other students reported flu-like symptoms, but they all had family nearby, so they just went home.
Tracie Davis, executive director of marketing and communications for Ivy Tech's north central region, said in an e-mail that even though faculty and staff expected to have more illnesses this year than usual, so far that's not what they've seen. She said it seems like the proportion of students who have reported ill is about the same.
The Health and Wellness Center at Indiana University South Bend has treated several students for flu-like symptoms, but the campus has not seen any confirmed cases of H1N1, according to the campus' emergency preparedness Web site. It says that Laura Hieronymus, director of the campus' Health and Wellness Center, said an H1N1 outbreak at IU-South Bend will likely occur this fall.
According to the Web site, IU-South Bend has applied to be a distribution center for the H1N1 vaccine.
Goshen College has had one H1N1 vaccine clinic and will probably do another one, Johnson said. He said students can also walk into the Health and Wellness Center for the vaccine.
"I'd like to see the (vaccination) numbers go up a bit more," Johnson said.
Elkhart Truth reporter Tom Lange contributed to this story.