Procedure III.3008.B.a, Communicable Disease

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Associated Policy

Policy III.3008.B, Communicable Disease

Procedures

The following procedure involves the College’s response to a communicable disease incident involving a student, employee, or other individual who attends a College function, event, program, activity, or meeting.

San Jacinto Community College recognizes that students, employees, and other individuals with communicable diseases may wish to engage in as many of their regular pursuits as their condition and ability to perform their duties allows, including attending classes or working. As long as these individuals are able to meet acceptable performance standards, and medical evidence indicates that their conditions are not a threat to themselves or others, the administration of the College should be sensitive to their condition and ensure that they are treated consistently and equally with other students and employees. The College also has an obligation to provide a safe environment for all students, employees, and community members.

  1. This administrative procedure applies to all notifiable conditions. Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management (SHERM) will maintain a list of notifiable conditions at https://www.sanjac.edu/about-san-jac/safety/communicable-diseases. If an individual has, or suspects they have a notifiable condition or other communicable disease, they should consult with their physician to receive reporting requirements. If instructed by their physician, the individual should  immediately report the matter to one of the following College officials or departments who will review the incident and develop an action plan with the appropriate department:
    1. Human Resources Benefits (HR Benefits) for employees
    2. Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management (SHERM) Office for students, or
    3. Office of Emergency Management (OEM) for contractors and vendors.

These individuals may provide information, education, counseling, and testing referrals.

  1. As a general rule, those individuals who are diagnosed with a notifiable condition and who have been cleared by a physician not to be infectious to others, will be permitted to attend classes/work and utilize College facilities in an unrestricted manner.
  2. Each case will be handled on an individual basis, taking into consideration whether the individual diagnosed with a communicable disease might pose a risk of transmission to others in the classroom and/or College setting. Each case shall be reevaluated at reasonable intervals, so long as the individual has a communicable disease and remains enrolled or employed or continues to perform service for the College.
  3. A student, employee or other individual (including an independent contractor) who has a notifiable condition and who desires to participate in College activities should be encouraged to provide current reports from the treating physician concerning their condition, whether they should be in contact with others, and if current health status permits the individual to attend classes or College functions, or perform the essential functions of their job.  San Jacinto College reserves the right to require a medical examination of an employee by a physician appointed by the College to determine fitness for duty and to ensure that the illness does not pose a direct threat to others.
  4. Should any disease reach an epidemic or pandemic state, the Director, OEM will monitor the situation by communicating with local and/or state health officials in order to provide appropriate information to the College community and develop plans to minimize exposure which may include the temporary closure of facilities or campuses if, after consulting with local and/or state health officials, such closures are in the best interest of the College and community.
  5. An individual’s health condition is personal and confidential, and reasonable precautions should be taken to protect information regarding an individual's health condition.  All College personnel will respect the medical privacy rights of all individuals and shall comply with all laws regulating the confidentiality of medical information, including Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and the Texas Health & Safety Code.  Information shall not be shared, published, or redisclosed except as permitted by law.
  6. The Director, SHERM and HR Benefits shall monitor the medical status of all individuals identified as having a notifiable condition. Changes in the individual’s medical status may warrant re-evaluation of the previous recommendations and/or consultation with medical personnel. These circumstances will be reviewed on a case by case basis and will serve to provide the protection of the individual and the College population.
  7. The Director, OEM shall serve as the designated infection control officer and the point of contact between local and state health jurisdiction and the College as it relates to the campuses and shall expeditiously make local health jurisdiction aware of any contagious diseases as allowed or required by law.
  8. Recommendations for notification and decontamination will be provided by the local health jurisdiction.  The College will comply with these recommendations.
  9. Students and employees in allied health programs are subject to additional requirements in the event of exposure to a communicable disease.  These protocols are maintained at the program level. The Dean over the program shall serve as the liaison between the program and SHERM, HR Benefits and OEM, should the need for review and coordination arise.

Definitions

Communicable diseases: are diseases that can be transmitted easily among a population. 

Notifiable Conditions: are those conditions that the College deems pose a threat to the College community, typically communicable diseases primarily spread through contact or respiratory pathways.

Epidemic: means the occurrence in a community or region of cases of an infectious disease or illness that exceeds normal expectancy.

Pandemic: is an epidemic of infectious disease that has spread through human populations across a large region.

Date of SLT Approval

June 23, 2021

Effective Date

July 1, 2021

Associated Policy

Policy III.3008.B, Communicable Disease

Primary Owner of Policy Associated with the Procedure

Director,  Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management (SHERM)

Secondary Owner of Policy Associated with the Procedure

Vice President, Human Resources