WIC Policy Memorandum #2007-5 WIC Program Response to a Human Pandemic
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide guidance to WIC state agencies in planning, preparing for and responding to the possibility of a human pandemic.
- Current WIC Program regulations provide flexibility with regard to physical presence, adjusting certification periods and mailing of food instruments including:
- Persons with a serious illness that may be exacerbated by coming in to the WIC clinic may be exempt from the physical presence requirement (this would also apply if applicants/family members are under a voluntary quarantine);
- State agencies may extend the certification period for breastfeeding women, infants and children, by not more than 30 days, to accommodate difficulty in scheduling appointments; and,
- State agencies may mail food instruments to persons who are not scheduled for nutrition education or a second or subsequent certification.
In the case of a human pandemic, state agencies should follow general guidance in WIC Policy Memorandum #2003-4, Allowable Costs of Bioterrorism Preparedness, which includes the following:
- With the approval of the state agency director, WIC employees may volunteer to be part of their state’s Biological Disaster Response Team. If other reimbursement is unavailable, staff time for participating in team activities, such as planning and training, would be an allowable cost for the WIC Program because the employees would gain knowledge and experience useful to assist the WIC Program in bioterrorism preparedness.
- In planning its response to a potential biological disaster, each state must consider the use of all available resources within its jurisdiction. Consequently, the state may, without regard to the allowability of costs to the WIC Program, incorporate the use of its WIC Program resources (i.e., staff, facilities, equipment, and supplies) into its biological disaster plan. This does not authorize the diversion of WIC funds to non WIC accounts. In the event of an actual biological disaster, WIC Program resources will be brought to bear in accordance with states’ biological disaster plans.
PATRICIA N. DANIELS
Supplemental Food Programs Division