Contagious diseases of public health significance

Safety & Security Policy 70230

1. Purpose

Germanna Community College (GCC) is committed to providing, to the extent possible, a healthy and safe educational environment for all students, employees, and visitors (the “College community”). The purpose of this policy is to help prevent the spread of communicable/contagious diseases of public health significance through measures that focus on safety, prevention, and education.

The College reserves the right to remove from College property any visitor, student, or employee believed to be positive for a communicable disease transmitted by air, object or through casual contact. The College further reserves the right to request written documentation from his/her treating physician or primary care provider declaring that the individual is medically cleared before returning to College property. The Chief of Police/Emergency Coordinator will make available to its College community information about the transmission of diseases and precautions that infected persons should take to prevent the spread of disease. Reliable sources of information may be obtained from the Virginia Department of Health. This policy does not address the common cold or seasonal allergies. This policy will be reviewed annually.

2. Policy

2.1 All members of the College community are responsible for adhering to the Contagious Diseases Policy and procedures.

2.2 The Chief of Police/Emergency Coordinator is responsible for the overall coordination and enforcement of this policy and associated procedures.

2.3 Persons who know or have reason to believe they are infected with a contagious disease should seek expert medical advice and advise local health authorities of a possible public health threat. They must follow the directions of local health authorities in order to prevent the spread of infection and to protect their own health. The Chief of Police/Emergency Coordinator (or designee) may serve as the point of contact between the health department and the college as it relates to the campuses. The Chief of Police/Emergency Coordinator should be immediately made aware of any reported contagious diseases as reported by the health department or others. The Chief of Police/Emergency Coordinator will provide guidance and direction as necessary. All public communications as it pertains to Contagious Diseases must be approved by the College President or his designee.

3. Procedures

3.1 Protocol for infected students

3.1.1 Students who know or suspect they are infected with a contagious disease must notify the Dean of Student Development’s Office and/or instructor(s).

3.1.2 The Deans of Student Development and Academic Deans have the authority to temporarily remove students from the classroom pending receipt of documentation by a physician that they pose no threat or danger to themselves, others at the college or to the learning process. If students fail to follow the Dean’s instructions, they will be considered in violation of the student code of conduct and will be subject to disciplinary action.

3.1.3 Before returning to GCC, students who have been diagnosed as having a contagious disease as listed above must present written documentation from their treating physician or primary care provider documenting that they are medically cleared (i.e., is no longer infectious to others) and is able to return as of a specified date. This information must be presented to the Dean of Student Development. All records regarding this medical information must remain confidential and be filed separately from all other general student records and/or personnel files.

3.1.4 Students are encouraged to stay in touch with faculty regarding class assignments and progress as appropriate. Students are responsible for meeting course attendance standards and requirements. See the Germanna Student Handbook for Attendance Standards and Withdrawal Under Mitigating Circumstances.

3.2 Protocol for infected employees

3.2.1 Employees who know or have reason to believe they are infected with a contagious disease must notify their supervisor and the college’s Department of Human Resources.

3.2.2 Before returning to GCC, employees who have been diagnosed as having a contagious disease as listed above must present written documentation from his/her treating physician or primary care provider documenting that the individual is medically cleared (i.e., is no longer infectious to others) and is able to return to work as of a specified date. This information must be presented to Human Resources and their supervisor.

3.2.3 As per GCC policy, employees need to follow all policies and procedures pertaining to sick leave and supervisor notification with regard to their status.

3.2.4 Supervisors have the authority to send employees home if they do not comply with this policy. Employees will be charged sick or annual leave if sent home. Failure to follow a supervisor’s directive is considered insubordination and is subject to formal disciplinary action under the DHRM Standards of Conduct.

3.2.5 When the State Health Commissioner and the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia declare a Communicable Disease of Public Health Threat as defined in Section 31.1-48.06, et. Sec. Code of Virginia, GCC employees, as per DHRM Public Health Emergency Leave policy (policy 4.52), are permitted or required to attend to the medical needs of themselves and immediate family members and provided up to 80 hours of paid leave per leave year for this purpose.

3.3 Protocol for supervisors and faculty

3.3.1 Supervisors and faculty who become aware of an employee or student under their supervision who is diagnosed with a communicable disease must take reasonable precautions to protect that person’s privacy and health information (HIPAA). Student Health concerns should be forwarded to the Dean of Student Development and their respective Academic Dean. All employee health care concerns must be forwarded to the college Department of Human Resources. Supervisors and employees can contact the Department of Human Resources with any questions or concerns they may have regarding workplace issues surrounding communicable diseases.

3.3.2 Please note: In the event that the Commonwealth declares a communicable disease or public health threat or public health emergency, the Public Health Emergency Leave Policy may be partially or fully implemented.  Learn more

3.4 College

3.4.1 Should any disease reach a pandemic stage, The Chief of Police/Emergency Coordinator will monitor the situation by communicating with local and state health officials and review media sources in order to provide appropriate information to the College community. College officials may temporarily close the College or a campus if such closure serves the best interest of the College community.

3.4.2 The Executive Policy Group (Presidents Council), College Spokesperson, PIO and if possible, in collaboration with the Chief of Police/Emergency Coordinator will inform the College community of plans to provide continuity of operations/instruction that will minimize educational and social disruption.

3.4.3 The Chief of Police/Emergency Coordinator may require infected persons to isolate themselves from the College community until the danger of infection is no longer present.

3.4.4 The Chief of Police/Emergency Coordinator will consult with local and state health officials to provide any specific instructions for individuals returning to the College following infection of a contagious disease.

3.5 Confidentiality statement

No person, group, agency, insurer, employer, or institution should be provided any medical information without the prior specific written consent of the student, employee, or other College community member unless required by state and/or federal law. Furthermore, all medical information relating to contagious diseases of students, employees, or other College community members will be kept confidential, according to applicable state and federal law. Medical information relating to contagious diseases of persons within the College community will only be disclosed to responsible college officials on a need-to-know basis.

3.6 Sanctions

3.6.1 Students who fail to comply with this policy are subject to sanctions, as appropriate, through the GCC Student Code of Conduct and applicable state and federal laws.

3.6.2 Employees who fail to follow all applicable GCC, VCCS, and DHRM policies and procedures, and applicable state

and federal laws may be subject to formal disciplinary action.

3.7 Interpretation

3.7.1 Students: Authority for interpretation of this policy rests with the Vice President for Academic and Student Services.

3.7.2 Employees: Authority for interpretation of this policy rests with the Vice President of Administrative & Financial Services and the Associate Vice President of Human Resources.

4. Definitions

Contagious disease of public health significance: means an illness caused by a specific or suspected infectious agent that may be transmitted directly or indirectly from one individual to another; for the purpose of this policy an infectious disease that is spread from person to person through casual contact or respiratory droplets, which may lead to an epidemic or pandemic situation and threaten the health of the campus community. These diseases include but are not limited to: tuberculosis (TB), measles or German measles (rubella), certain strains of hepatitis and meningitis, as well as SARS and certain strains of influenza. Other potentially less serious infectious diseases, such as chicken pox and pneumonia will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Epidemic: means the occurrence in a community or region of cases of an illness clearly in excess of normal expectancy.

5. References

VCCS Policy 6.0.8.1

Section 31.1-48.06, Code of Virginia

DHRM Public Health Emergency Leave Policy 4.52

6. Point of contact

Chief of Police/Emergency Coordinator

7. Approval and revisions dates

College Council: May 29, 2015.

President’s Council: March 16, 2015

College Board: July 16, 2015

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