As the Nation continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, I would like to turn your attention to another virus that is more familiar but can be equally dangerous: seasonal influenza. The flu season in the United States claims tens of thousands of lives each year. DHS employees, particularly those performing mission-critical frontline operations, are at an increased risk of infection due to the public-facing nature of their duties. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to do everything possible to reduce the spread of flu.
Unlike with COVID-19, we have a proven, effective vaccine for the flu. Getting a flu vaccine is one of the most important things you can do to safeguard your health during the flu season. It also protects the health of your colleagues, your family, and the wider community. I encourage all DHS employees to get a flu shot this September if possible, but no later than the end of October. This will decrease the possibility that you will become infected or severely ill from influenza.
Additionally, I urge all DHS employees to remain committed to their health by continuing to take extra precautionary measures designed to stop the spread of germs. This includes wearing cloth face coverings or appropriate personal protective equipment, practicing good hand hygiene, and disinfecting workspaces and other high-touch surfaces. These and other practices will help stop the spread of both influenza and COVID-19. For more information, please watch the following video:
The public services that DHS employees provide every day are essential to our Nation’s safety, security, and economic success. Your professionalism and courage in the face of a multitude of unforeseen challenges have been nothing short of exemplary, and I admire the tremendous sacrifices you’ve made in service to the DHS mission. Our mission is best accomplished by a healthy and resilient workforce operating at full capacity. For this reason, I ask you to please consider getting your flu shot this September. Thank you again for the hard work you do every day for DHS, your immediate communities, and the country at large.
Deputy Under Secretary for Management