Infectious Disease and AIDS Protection
Duties, Guidelines and Position
Central Community College recognizes that a student with an infectious disease may wish to continue to engage in as many normal pursuits as the condition allows, including educational experiences. The college recognizes that a student in this situation should be allowed to continue his education in the least restrictive environment as long as the student's condition is not a threat to himself, other students, employees and persons coming in contact with the college.
Central Community College recognizes that it should be sensitive to the condition of the student and ensure that the student is treated consistently with other students. At the same time, the college recognizes an obligation to provide a safe educational environment for all students and employees, and every precaution should be taken to ensure that a student's condition does not present a health and/or safety threat to other students and employees.
Consistent with this concern for students with infectious diseases, Central Community College adopts the following guidelines, consistent with already existing policies and procedures relative to the removal of a student from the college campus or its sponsored programs.
A. Duties of the College
For the protection of students, employees and persons coming in contact with the college and to improve the quality of the educational experience available at Central Community College, the college shall do the following:
- The college shall be prepared to refer students to sources of competent testing for infectious diseases. The college recognizes the right to privacy and confidentiality of the individual; thus, all such referrals shall be kept private. All testing and medical and other treatment costs shall be at the student's expense.
- The respective Dean of Educational Services shall be responsible for developing and implementing an ongoing student educational program on infectious diseases common to college communities. The educational program shall include current medical opinions about the nature of these infectious diseases, their symptoms, methods of transmission, and preventative measures for avoiding or preventing the transmission of infectious diseases. These educational programs may be presented through various educational methodology including brochures, audiovisual productions, and/or group lectures/discussions.
- Universal precautions and use of appropriate protective materials shall be taught and practiced in educational programs that require the handling of body fluids and/or the handling of materials that might be contaminated with body fluids. The designated Infectious Disease Coordinator shall have educational training and occupational experience necessary to evaluate and articulate infectious disease concerns, universal precautions, and the nature, duration and severity of risks (a minimum of RN qualifications).
- Confidentiality must be weighed against the health and safety concerns of students, employees and persons coming in contact with the college. Thus, the college and all employees will refuse to identify the individual, the family or any other personal data concerning the student with the infectious disease, without that student's permission.
B. Guidelines for Dealing with Students with Infectious Diseases
- Should any student have or suspect that he has an infectious disease, the student will be expected to report this information to the local College Infectious Disease Coordinator, whose name can be obtained from the Dean of Educational Services.
- In the event that an employee or student of the college receives information that a student has or is suspected of having an infectious disease, the employee or student shall report this information to the local College Infectious Disease Coordinator. Said employee or student is expected to respect the individual's right of privacy and shall report the information to no other individual.
- The Infectious Disease Coordinator shall convene a committee of individuals, to be designated by the Dean of Educational Services, whose purpose shall be to consider whether the student with an infectious disease diagnosed from a positive test might pose a risk of transmission to others in the college and its sponsored programs. The Infectious Disease Coordinator will convene this committee and will work closely with the student, the student's private physician and/or a designated public health official. The Infectious Disease Coordinator will at all times maintain strict confidentiality, and names will not be revealed to the committee.
- Consistent with already existing policies and procedures, including appeal procedures relative to the removal of a student from the college campus, the Dean of Educational Services and the Infectious Disease Coordinator shall make its decision based on the following criteria:
- The nature of the risk (how is the disease transmitted?).
- The duration of the risk (how long is the student infectious?).
- The severity of the risk (what is the potential harm to others?).
- The probability that the disease will be transmitted and will cause varying degrees of harm. The criteria will be measured based on reasonable medical judgments of the private physician, the medical personnel in the committee, and the student's knowledge and recognition of high-risk behaviors.
- The committee shall determine whether an alternative, less restrictive than removal from the college campus, is available such that the student may continue his education without posing a risk to other students, employees and persons coming in contact with the college. The college will make whatever accommodations are reasonable to effect an alternative insuring the student's being able to pursue his education if it is possible to do so.
- The Infectious Disease Coordinator shall monitor the medical status of students identified as having an infectious disease. The coordinator shall also monitor the student's potential for contamination of other college persons. The coordinator may convene or reconvene the committee as changes in the student's medical status or potential for contamination may warrant. The primary purpose of the meeting will be to determine whether the student's medical status or potential for contamination shall warrant the student's removal from the college and its sponsored programs. The monitoring by the Infectious Disease Coordinator shall be conducted in a manner which is least restrictive and sensitive to the student involved.
- The college recognizes that a student may need to be removed temporarily from program attendance, and the Infectious Disease Coordinator shall work with the student, the student's private physician and the committee to determine the appropriate time for readmittance to the college. The student shall be expected to notify the Infectious Disease Coordinator of his desire to return to the campus.
- The college recognizes that a student with an infectious disease may need to be notified of the occurrence of acute or short‑term infectious diseases occurring on the campus, such as measles or chicken pox, which may be life-threatening to the student. The Infectious Disease Coordinator will notify the student and the student's private physician whenever the Infectious Disease Coordinator becomes aware of such a situation and, in conjunction with the student and the student's physician, will determine whether the student should be removed from the college campus or program for his own protection.
- The student with the infectious disease will be expected to cooperate with the Infectious Disease Coordinator and the committee in determining the appropriate course of action, including the sharing of information with those persons with a direct need to know, including appropriate college personnel. To encourage such cooperation, the Infectious Disease Coordinator shall assist the student in acquiring knowledge about the transmission of infectious diseases and understanding the need to attend to the disease through medical care, personal hygiene, educational counseling, and the avoidance of high-risk behaviors.
C. Position Statements
- Central Community College is committed to creating an educational environment which is as free as feasible from infectious diseases that can be transferred from person to person. The Nebraska Department of Health has defined diseases which are declared to be infectious, communicable, and/or dangerous to the public and has compiled a list thereof.
- The college's decision involving persons who have infectious diseases shall be based on current and well‑informed medical judgment concerning the disease, the risks of transmitting the illness to others, the symptoms and special circumstances of each individual who has an infectious disease, and a careful weighing of the identified risks and the available alternatives for responding to a student with an infectious disease.
- As in all student matters, Central Community College does not discriminate on the basis of age (over 16), sex, marital status, race, color, creed, religion, handicap, national origin or political affiliation in the administration of its educational policies.
- As in all student matters, the college shall comply with all pertinent statutes and regulations which protect the privacy of persons in the college community. Conditions which are mandated to be reported to the State Department of Health shall be reported.
- Central Community College shall provide for students an educational program on infectious diseases common to college communities. The educational programs shall include current medical opinions about the nature of the infectious disease, their symptoms, methods of transmission and preventative measures for avoiding or transmitting infectious diseases.
Central Community College recognizes that Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is potentially a threat to the well‑being of students and staff. At this time, AIDS is separate and distinct from other diseases because it is incurable. AIDS, in and of itself, does not kill.
The college's primary response to AIDS will be education to increase awareness and providing such education to prevent further spread of the disease. Education is the only vaccine at present. The college recognizes that training of leaders who will be the AIDS educators is a major part of a successful program. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines will be used in determining future guidelines for dealing with AIDS.
Names of individuals with AIDS (students or employees) will not be revealed. Discrimination against employees or students with AIDS is prohibited. Existing sick leave policies and procedures shall be followed by all employees with illnesses, including AIDS. The college will follow present guidelines for illnesses beyond three consecutive days.