Communicable Diseases (Procedure 1.1200)

Authority: Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended; Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; Florida Statute 1001.64(4)(b), 1002.21(4), 1006.50, 1006.68
Date Adopted: 01/17
Date of Review: ---
Date of Revision: ---
Related Policies: 1.120; 1.060; 6.061

Purpose

To inform students and employees that the College treats known individuals with a communicable disease in a manner that balances their rights with the rights of others within the College community. Normally, the College will concern itself only with conditions that pose a high risk to the health of others involved in College programs and activities (“conditions reportable within 24 hours” per the Florida Department of Health).

Definitions

  • ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, including subsequent amendment.
  • Communicable diseases: those caused by an infectious agent or its toxins which can be spread from one person, animal, or object to another through a variety of ways that include, but are not limited to, contact with blood or other bodily fluids, breathing in an airborne virus, or by being bitten by an insect.
  • Conditions that pose a high risk: diseases/conditions that must be reported within 24 hours to the local county health department. These include, but are not limited to, anthrax, encephalitis, hepatitis, influenza A, meningococcal disease (meningitis), measles, rabies, and rubella1
  • Known individual with a communicable disease: a student, employee, visitor, or other individual who comes in contact with College students, employees, or visitors after the College acquires information about his/her communicable disease. The information may come to the College from any reliable source, including the individual or the county health department.
  • HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV): a condition that can gradually destroy the immune system. The virus can be transmitted from mother to child in utero, through exchange of blood or bodily fluids from an infected individual, or through sexual contact from an infected individual. It is not spread through touching items touched by an individual with the virus, or hugging, or insect bites.
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS): the condition reached when the immune system is non-functional from the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. While there is no cure, treatments are available through a health care provider.

Procedure

  1. Students, employees, and visitors are required to report to the College a known or suspected disease that poses a high risk to the health of others. They may choose one of the following parties to receive the report:
    1. Vice President for Student Affairs (students)
    2. Associate Vice President, Student Development (students)
    3. Director, Academic Advising and Counseling (students)
    4. Associate Vice President, Human Resources or designee (employees, visitors)
  2. The College representative receiving the report will comply with confidentiality provisions of HIPAA and the ADA. The representative will confirm with the individual that the College’s receipt of such a report means that the individual cannot participate in any College activities on any College campus or property used by the College, effective immediately. The representative will request information from the individual regarding their high-risk condition as follows:
    1. Confirmation of the diagnosis from a health care professional acceptable to the College.
    2. Symptoms and special circumstances pertinent to the individual’s activities at the College. Examples: the student’s actual or planned course of study, or the employee’s job functions, or the visitor’s participation in a College program or event.
    3. Assessment of the risk to the health/safety of others posed by the communicable disease, from knowledgeable medical sources.
  3. The College will assess each report of a communicable disease that poses a high risk. The College will determine the reliability of each report, develop additional facts if needed, and take appropriate actions. Those may include:
    1. Notifying in writing the individual with the high-risk condition that the actual or planned educational, work, or other activities pose no direct threat to the individual or the College’s students, employees, or visitors and may be continued.
    2. Notifying in writing that the College is restricting the actual or planned educational, work, or other activities of the individual with the high-risk condition. This would follow a determination that full participation poses a direct threat to the health or safety of the individual or others. Restriction may apply to some or all of the activities.
  4. The participation of individuals involved in academic programs or job duties that involve contact with blood or other bodily fluids in teaching laboratories or other instructional sites will be evaluated against the standards set within each program for students and employees. Those standards are developed and maintained in cooperation with program directors and in accordance with the practices of clinical partners, as appropriate. Participation may be maintained by following standard safety protocols, adding safety protocols, establishing alternative settings that do not fundamentally alter the program for students or remove an essential duty for employees, or using other effective strategies.
  5. College employees whose roles may place them in contact with bloodborne pathogens will follow College Policy 6.061, Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens. This Policy will be supplemented by training and direction from supervisors.
  6. Individuals whose high risk diseases meet the definition of disability in the ADA may request accommodations through Disability Support Services (students) or Human Resources (employees and visitors). The College will follow its policies and procedures for reviewing accommodation requests.
  7. The College promotes health education about many topics in its role of presenting tips and guidelines for safety and wellness. The College maintains a website relating to Communicable Diseases: Prevention and Monitoring. Students, employees, and visitors may consult it for updated information.2
  8. In compliance with Florida statute, the College also provides a list of community resources and education programs in the Student Handbook. That list includes services that diagnose, treat, and prevent AIDS and related conditions as well as high-risk communicable diseases. Common campus behaviors present slight risk of transmitting HIV or AIDS. The most current medical information on symptoms and prevention can be found through local organizations, including those on the Community Resource Listing maintained by Academic Advising and Counseling.3
  9. The College will maintain confidentiality regarding disclosure of the disease/condition in accordance with statute. Only those individuals with need to know will be informed, normally in cases related to health and safety in the regular operation of the College. The College will maintain medical records with the safeguards consistent with the ADA, HIPAA, and other applicable statutes.
  10. Non-discrimination: The College will follow its non-discrimination policy in respect to individuals with communicable diseases. Individuals who believe that College discriminated in actions related to communicable diseases may file a Discrimination Complaint or pursue other remedies.

1 Reference the Florida Department of Health website for a complete list of communicable diseases that must be reported immediately to the county health department by various health practitioners. The College will base its actions on medical opinions related to these conditions, with exceptions as deemed reasonable by the College. See current guidance: pages 9-18, http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/disease-reporting-and-management/_documents/reportable-diseases/_documents/guidelines-health-care.pdf
https://www.seminolestate.edu/security/h1n1/cdp

3  See Community Resource Guide, https://www.seminolestate.edu/media/counseling/2016-Community-Service-Guide-(2).pd

NOTICE: Any other College rule(s) which reference(s) the rule noticed herein shall be interpreted and enforced consistent with the new / revised rule upon its final adoption (unless otherwise indicated in the referencing rule(s)).

Recommended by Executive Team Date 01/24/2017
Signed by  President, E. Ann McGee Date 01/25/2017

Want more info? Contact us.

Seminole State College
100 Weldon Boulevard
Sanford, Florida 32773-6199
407.708.4722

Seminole State General Contact Information