The health, comfort and learning environment for students, faculty and staff are important aspects of the College's mission. To promote a healthy environment, the College developed a communicable diseases information program.
The program objective is to improve the College learning environment by establishing action plans to manage potential risk factors, with a view to ensuring the on-campus response to such risk factors. Specifically, the program aims to:
- Establish a centralized system of surveillance for communicable diseases and accidents, so that timely and effective actions can be initiated in response to the incident.
- Improve the efficiency of the existing activities and facilitates sharing information with the different College components.
- Detect activities that can increase the risk of an accident or a health condition and mitigate them.
In response to occupational health regulations, the College works to ensure a healthy and safe environment, which promotes an effective learning and working environment. The communicable prevention and monitoring program will help protect the College community from the spread of disease on campus.
The program will detect early warning signals of any unsanitary or unsafe condition that could be affecting specific sector(s) of the College community. In addition, the program will help initiate an effective response in a timely manner.
Applicable local and state requirements/regulations
- Section 339. Section 1006.69 - Florida Statutes
- The Florida Statute requires that a postsecondary institution shall provide detailed information concerning the risks associated with meningococcal meningitis and hepatitis B and the availability, effectiveness, and known contraindications of any required or recommended vaccine to every student or to the student's parent if the student is a minor, who has been accepted for admission.
- Chapter 64D-3, Florida Administrative Code - Communicable Diseases and Conditions Which May Significantly Affect Humans
- The Department of Health requires the notification of contagious diseases that can affect the public health. A physician, certified nurse, clinical technician, and hospital notify the local health department of all confirmed cases. In some cases, the patient has to be isolated in order to avoid the spread of the diseases.
- Establish a communication protocol
- Integrate the College disease and safety monitoring system
- Improve the support of each college program
- Employees should inform their supervisor of any communicable diseases that they could have or suspect other persons could have.
- Students should inform faculty of their suspected condition and make arrangements to keep up with course content and missed assignments and tests.
- Supervisors and managers must notify the head of the department. The head of the department, or his or her representative, will notify the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) coordinator.
- The EHS coordinator notifies the human resources department if the suspected case involves an employee or the student services department if the suspected case involves a student. In addition, the EHS coordinator notifies the director of College Relations and Marketing.
- The EHS coordinator will initiate an investigation to determine if the suspected case presents a potential threat to the College community. The responsibility of the coordinator is to establish the preventive controls on campus. Those controls include but are not limited to disinfection of classrooms, bathrooms, and equipment.
Role of the Coordinator and the Team
The coordinator of environmental health and safety, under the supervision of the director of Safety and Security, ensures the control of diseases and accident prevention. The coordinator develops protocols and procedures with the assistance of the team. Representations of all the College components are essential for the development of this program. The Emergency Response Team will assist in the development and implementation of protocols and procedures. The College staff involved in the investigation will depend on the location of the incident and the persons involved in the incident.
In a confirmed mass casualty emergency, the College emergency response plan must be followed.
Steps for Prevention
- Supervisors should keep a record of employees and student assistants. Long-term absenteeism can be warning signs of a serious health condition. Supervisors must establish communication with the employee. In the case of the student, the instructor must notify his or her supervisor.
- Use universal precautions at all times. Universal precautions such as hand washing reduce the risk of contagious or hazardous exposure.
- Ensure best sanitation practices. Routine inspections help identify potential sources of contamination. The air quality program will help the college in the prevention of occupational exposures.
- Keep a communication protocol to share information in and outside of the College.