While fall brings out the best in Central New York, it also marks the height of cold and flu season. Break out those tissues, and get ready! Being prepared is often your best defense this season. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to protect yourself and others. Here’s what you should know:

Get Your Flu Shot

Getting your flu vaccine is an essential layer of protection for yourself and others this flu season. And just like last year, it’s required for all of us.

The Barnes Center is offering flu clinics every weekday through Friday, Oct. 29. All you have to do is make an appointment! Here’s what to do:

  1. Log in to the Patient Portal.
  2. Select “Appts” on the main menu.
  3. Select “Health Clinic” in the Clinic drop-down.
  4. Select “Flu Shot Clinic Appointment” in the Reason drop-down.
  5. Select “Barnes Center 309 FluShots” in the Provider drop-down.
  6. Hit submit.
  7. Choose your appointment day and time!

Be sure to check your email for a confirmation with details and needed forms. On the day of your appointment (this is important), bring your pharmacy benefit card and health insurance card!

To learn more about the requirement, medical or religious exemptions or getting your shot through another provider, refresh yourself on Dr. Nardella’s message, or visit the Barnes Center’s Stay Safe webpage.

Know What To Do If You Have Symptoms

Because COVID-19 shares many symptoms with the flu virus, accurately diagnosing symptoms is very important.

Common flu symptoms include aches, chills, congestion, cough, fatigue, fever, headache and sore throat. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, stay in your room and call the Barnes Center health care team at 315.443.8000 as soon as you can. While you’re at it, don’t put others at risk by going to class or other campus facilities.

Side note: Please don’t go into the Barnes Center in-person to request an appointment. It is a risk to be in contact with others while sick, and there are no drop-in appointments (only scheduled appointments).

Practice Good Health Habits

We know; you’ve heard it a million times. But you’re going to keep hearing it a million times! There’s some very easy and very effective habits to practice that help keep yourself and others healthy.

  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing (a mask can help with that).
  • Hang out in small groups and outdoors when you can. If you’re indoors, open windows and use fans to circulate air.
  • Avoid sharing food, drinks or smoking devices.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask people how they are feeling and reschedule.
  • If you are exhibiting COVID-like symptoms, stay home and call the Barnes Center at 315.443.8000.

Please just do it! And if you don’t, in the words of “That’s So Raven,” ya nasty! Let’s keep each other safe and healthy.

Stock your Medicine Cabinet

There are a few things you should always have in your personal first aid kit, like a thermometer and fever/pain relievers. Make sure you have them and that your thermometer doesn’t need another battery.

During cold and flu season, it’s a good idea to grab a few extra things, like:

  • Cough drops
  • Cough syrup
  • Decongestants
  • Fluids (sports drinks and other electrolyte drinks)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lip balm (Your chapped lips will thank us later.)
  • Tissues

Swing by the Barnes Center Pharmacy to purchase all your basic cold and flu necessities! Or make a Virtual Pharmacy order through the Wellness Portal to pick up after class.