Communicable Disease Procedures and Guidelines

I. Rule

Central Piedmont complies with State Board of Community Colleges Code 1C SBCCC 200.94 (5), which requires all colleges to have a communicable disease policy.

II. Purpose

Central Piedmont Community College is committed to providing, to the extent possible, a healthy and safe educational and working environment for all students, employees, and visitors to campus. The purpose of College policy is to help prevent the spread of communicable disease through measures that focus on safety, prevention, and education, while prohibiting discrimination against persons afflicted with communicable diseases. In furtherance of this purpose, the College will consider making reasonable accommodation to employees and students, consistent with applicable federal, state, and local laws, while simultaneously protecting the campus and public’s health. In turn, the College expects individuals who have been exposed, have symptoms of, or have contracted an illness or disease identified in this policy, to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), and protocols articulated by the public health agencies of the State of North Carolina and Mecklenburg County.

III. Procedures and Guidelines

In the event of a communicable disease occurrence within the surrounding region or state that is clearly in excess of normal expectancy, or reaches the outbreak classification, the College will monitor the situation by maintaining continual communication with local and state health officials to provide timely and appropriate updates to the College community. Depending on the severity or categorical aspect of a specific event, less serious communicable disease occurrences will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Central Piedmont will also consult with local and state health officials to provide any specific instructions for individuals returning to the College following an infection of a reportable communicable disease. Central Piedmont will also inform members of the College community about current information regarding communicable diseases.

The College has also established procedures and guidelines for students applying to and enrolled in health sciences programs of study and employees to mitigate the risk of exposure to communicable diseases. The following reflects efforts by the College on behalf of both students and employees.

I. Procedures and Guidelines for Student-Applicants to or Students Enrolled in Health Science Programs

A. Student Applicants

  1. Any student applicant in a health sciences or related program who has HIV, hepatitis B, or other bloodborne disease will be individually evaluated. All enrollment decisions concerning the individual shall be based upon a consideration of the following factors:

    1. The potential harm that the individual poses to other people;
    2. The ability of the individual to accomplish the objectives of the course or curriculum; and,
    3. Whether or not reasonable accommodation can be made that will enable the individual to safely and efficiently accomplish the objectives and/or tasks of the course or curriculum in question without significantly exposing the individual or other persons to the risk of infection.
  2. All student applicants who have a known blood borne disease will be assessed, as needed, by his/her physician in keeping with the current standards, requirements, and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in keeping with the provisions of College policy.
  3. The evaluation of a student applicant with a known blood borne disease will include a physician’s statement of the individual’s health status as it relates to the individual’s ability to adequately and safety accomplish the essential objectives of their course or curriculum.
  4. The physician’s statement must also indicate the nature and extent of the individual’s susceptibility to infectious diseases that may be encountered when accomplishing the objectives of the individual’s course or curriculum.

B. Students Enrolled in Health Fields of Study

  1. All health‐related students are required to adhere to universal precautions, including the appropriate use of hand washing, protective barriers, and care in the use and disposal of needles and other sharp instruments.
  2. The College will give the following instructions to all health-related students, as well as any student identified as testing positive for blood borne disease. These instructions are consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines used by affiliating agencies:
    1. Good personal hygiene must be followed at all times, with special emphasis on good hand washing technique.
    2. Gloves must be worn for any direct contact with patients and/or with any blood or body fluids.
  3. Students in health‐related fields of study who have exudative lesions or weeping dermatitis should refrain from all direct patient care, and from handling patient‐care equipment and devices used in performing procedures, until the condition is resolved. A release from a physician will be necessary before the student can resume direct patient care duties.
  4. The student must be made aware by the College of the potential risks associated with patient care, and the student will, at all times, follow recommendations regarding positive HIV/HBV for health care workers from the affiliating clinical agencies.
  5. In each instance, a determination must be made as to an appropriate and limited release of the student’s positive bloodborne disease status to the student’s clinical instructor or department head, in order that performance may be adequately supervised and reviewed on an ongoing basis. When a student is known to be HIV/HBV positive, the student’s physician and the department head of the health or related program will carefully evaluate whether or not someone in the clinical agency needs to be told of the student’s positive bloodborne disease status. The student will be advised of this release of information.
  6. In the event a patient is exposed to a student’s blood or body fluids, the student will immediately report the incident to the clinical supervisor. The supervisor shall complete an accident/incident report, and send a copy and verbally report the incident to the Academic Dean, Department Chair, and Vice President of Academic Affairs. This procedure of reporting applies to all students, regardless of their HIV/HBV status. A student in a health-related field of study is ethically obligated to undergo testing for bloodborne pathogens when a patient has been exposed to the student’s blood or body fluids.

II. Procedures and Guidelines for Employee Classifications

The College will endeavor to protect employees from infectious diseases by implementing the following Department of Health and Human Services recommended steps:

A. Classification of Work Activity

Employees in health care and related occupations will be classified in one of three categories of potential exposure:

1. Category I

Employees perform tasks that involve exposure to blood, body fluids, or tissues. Appropriate protective measures will be required of these employees, including, but not limited to, employees in the following areas: Allied Health Services, Nursing Assistant, and custodial personnel.

2. Category II

Employees’ normal work routine involves no exposure to blood, body fluids, or tissue, but unplanned tasks could involve Category I exposure. Appropriate protection measures should be readily available to Category II employees, including, but not limited to, employees in the following areas: Child Care Instructors and Basic Law Enforcement Training participants.

3. Category III

Employees having no exposure to blood, body fluids, or tissues. Do not require protective measures.

B. Control Measures

Exposure risks should be evaluated and one or more of the following controls instituted as appropriate.

1. Universal Precautions

Control procedures that treat all human blood and other potentially infectious materials as if they are infectious.

2. Engineering Controls

The use of available technology and devices to isolate or remove hazards from the workers.

3. Work Practice Controls

Alterations in the manner in which a task is performed in an effort to reduce the likelihood of a worker’s exposure to infectious materials.

4. Personal Protective Equipment

When there is possible occupational exposure, the College will provide, at no cost to the employee, appropriate personal protective equipment. Examples of such includes gloves, gowns, masks, eye protection, mouthpieces, resuscitation bags, pocket masks, or other ventilation devices. Personal protective equipment will be considered appropriate only if it does not permit blood or other potentially infectious materials to pass through to or reach the employee’s work clothes, skin, eyes, mouth, or other mucous membranes under normal conditions of use and for the duration of time which the protective equipment will be used.

5. Vaccinations

The HBV vaccination shall be offered at no cost to all employees whose jobs involve the risk of directly contacting potentially infectious materials listed in Category I and II as follows:

  • Current Employees: All current Category I and II employees may receive the HBV vaccine at no cost or may reject the vaccination by written statement.
  • New Employees: New Category I and II employees will be required to have begun or completed all required vaccines prior to employment.

Employee applications and the employment process will be modified to reflect vaccination history with documentation (certified copies) of shot records provided to and kept by the Business Office in a special file of Category I and II employees.

6. Training and Education of Students and Employees

All Category I and II employees will be required to participate in training and education programs approved by the College.

  1. Students: All students in health-related fields will be taught Universal Precautions/bloodborne pathogens in specific sections of study relating to infection control (Category I).
  2. Employees: All instructors in health care fields will be educated according to new regulations on bloodborne pathogens. Additional education and update on new changes in bloodborne pathogens will be required as educational workshops are scheduled.

Related Policies

Policy 2.00 Communicable Disease