I. COMMUNICABLE DISEASE
The College shall not exclude individuals with communicable diseases unless a determination is made that the individual presents a health risk to himself/herself or others. The College shall consider the educational or employment status of those with a communicable disease on an individual basis. Communicable diseases as defined in this Policy include, but are not limited to, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), chicken pox, hepatitis, measles, tuberculosis, meningitis, mononucleosis and whooping cough, and for purposes of this Policy only, those communicable diseases which constitute a disability pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
1. All information and records that identify a person as having a communicable disease shall be strictly confidential.
2. Disclosure of medical information shall be made by the President only to those on a need-to-know basis to protect the welfare of persons infected with a communicable disease or the welfare of other members of the College community.
3. Unauthorized disclosure of medical information by an employee of the College is prohibited. Violation of this prohibition may result in the suspension from or termination of employment.
4. A person who knows or has a reasonable basis for believing that s/he is infected with a communicable disease is expected to seek expert advice about his/her health circumstances and is obligated ethically and legally to conduct himself/herself responsibly toward other members of the College community.
5. Faculty and staff of the College and employees of contractors or contracted services who are infected with a communicable disease are urged to notify the appropriate Dean/Director so that the College can respond appropriately to his/her health needs. Students are urged to share information with the appropriate Dean/Director for the same reason.
6. A person infected with a communicable disease (including the AIDS virus whether active AIDS, AIDS-Related Complex, or undetectable viral load) will not be excluded from enrollment or employment or restricted in his/her access to the College’s services or facilities unless, in individual cases, the College administration determines that exclusion or other restrictions are necessary for the health and welfare of others at the College.
7. Included in making decisions in individual cases which restrict access to employment shall be the College President, Legal Counsel for the College, the Deans/Directors, the individual’s personal physician, the local Health Director (or designee) and if necessary, another physician with expertise in managing communicable disease cases.
8. The College shall provide information regarding communicable diseases, especially AIDS.
9. Should influenza reach a pandemic stage, the President shall regularly monitor the situation by communicating with local and state health officials and by reviewing media sources. Should influenza reach a pandemic level in a county contiguous to the College’s Service Area, the President will provide information to students and employees on preventing the spread of the pandemic flu. Should influenza reach a pandemic level within the service area the President, after consulting with local health officials, may close the College temporarily if s/he feels it is in the best interest of the College and community. Persons who are infected with the pandemic flu, or know of someone in the College community who is, should contact college officials immediately. Students should contact the Dean of Student Services and employees should contact the Human Resources Office.
II. OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS
The College shall comply with federal regulations and state statutes regarding bloodborne pathogens as set forth in the Federal Register, 29 CFR §1910.1030, and the North Carolina Administrative Code, 10A NCAC 41A, by attempting to limit/prevent occupational exposure of employees to blood or other potentially infectious bodily fluids and materials that may transmit bloodborne pathogens and lead to disease or death.
A. Reasonably Anticipated Occupational Exposure
An employee who could “reasonably anticipate” as a result of performing required job duties, to face contact with blood, bodily fluids or other potentially infectious materials is covered by the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, the North Carolina Administrative Code, and this Policy. “Occupational Exposure” includes any reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane or parenteral (brought into the body through some way other than the digestive tract) contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of an employee’s duties. “Good Samaritan” acts, such as assisting a co-worker or student\ with a nosebleed would not be considered “reasonably anticipated occupational exposure.”
B. Universal Precautions
Universal precautions will be in force at all times. All blood, body fluid and other potentially infectious material will be handled as if infected. The program standards for the control of potential exposure to HIV and HBV as outlined in the OSHA Rule “Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens” Standard 1910.1030, the NC Administrative Codes, or the most current standards available will be followed.
An employee who suspects that s/he has a blood or body fluid exposure may request to be tested, at the College’s expense, provided that the suspected exposure poses a significant risk of transmission as defined in the rules of the Commission for Health Services. The HIV and HBV testing of a person who is the source of an exposure that poses a significant risk of transmission will be conducted in accordance with 10A NC Administrative Code 41A .0202 (4) (HIV) and 41A .0203(b)(3) (HBV). The College will strictly adhere to existing confidentiality rules and laws regarding employees with communicable diseases, including HIV or HIV-associated conditions.
D. Exposure Control Compliance
The College shall comply with OSHA Regulation 29 CFR 1910.1030 and promote a healthy and safe environment for both employees and students. The College proposes to do this through minimizing the risk of transmission of infectious diseases that are blood or body fluid borne. To achieve compliance with OSHA Regulation 29 CFR 1910.1030, the College will maintain an Exposure Control Plan covering the following areas:
2. Protective equipment,
3. Hepatitis vaccinations,
4. Post-exposure and follow-up care, and
A copy of the Exposure Control Plan is available in the office of Administrative Services.
Adopted: June 12, 2019
Legal Reference: 29 CFR §1910.1030; 10A NCAC 41A; 10A NC Administrative Code 41A .0202 (4) (HIV) and 41A .0203(b)(3) (HBV)