College Attendance and Communicable Diseases Policy
A student with identified chronic communicable diseases may attend college whenever, through reasonable accommodation, the risk of transmission of the disease and/or the risk of further injury to the student is sufficiently remote as to be outweighed by the detrimental effects resulting from the student’s exclusion from college.
Student Personnel – College Attendance and Communicable Diseases
Eastern Iowa Community Colleges are committed to providing, to the extent possible, a healthy and safe educational environment for all student s and employees. In order for potential cases to be verified and appropriate steps taken, suspected cases of communicable diseases are required to be reported to the Dean of Student Development. Since an individual’s medical condition is confidential, precautions will be taken by college personnel to ensure that information regarding the health of a student is provided only to the persons with a need to know.
EICC recognizes that students with communicable diseases may be able to continue their class attendance as their conditions allow. For any student who wishes to attend classes despite having an infectious disease, EICC will require a statement from the student’s attending physician verifying that continued attendance will pose no threat to students or employees. As long as medical evidence indicates that an individual’s medical conditions are not a danger to the student or others, students will be allowed to continue normal classroom activities. A student may be temporarily removed from classes pending investigation of a communicable disease. EICC will also provide reasonable accommodations to students with a disability. Students are expected to continue to meet classroom performance standards with or without reasonable accommodations. Occurrences, and accommodations, will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
In the event of a communicable disease occurrence within the surrounding region that is in excess of normal expectancy, EICC will monitor the situation by maintaining continual communication with local and state health officials.
Guidelines on College Attendance and Communicable Diseases
Recommendations and Guidelines for Students and Employees (ACHA)
EICC takes the health of its college community seriously and it committed to preventing the spread of communicable diseases on its campus. With this in mind, guidelines have been established to assist students and staff with college attendance and communicable diseases.
The most important goals for EICC need to be those of increasing awareness and providing education to prevent further spread of the disease. To achieve those goals, effective educational programs will be designed and implemented and these programs shall reach the total college community students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
Each incident of communicable disease and the determination of the course of action to be taken by the College shall be addressed on an individual case by case basis. The Deans of Student Development of the College of EICC will be designated as the group responsible for analyzing and responding to students with a communicable disease on a case by case basis. If the College has reasonable cause to believe that an employee or student has a communicable disease, the College may request an appropriate medical evaluation of the individual to determine what course of action, if any, should be taken. Except as otherwise noted, the identity of the employee or student who has a communicable disease or who is suspected of having a disease shall be revealed only to those individuals who have the right to such information under the law. These guidelines are derived from the best currently available medical facts, and will be monitored and updated to reflect new facts that emerge from medical research.
General Statement of Risk
These facts are the basis for the following guidelines recommended for EICC:
- Attendance at Classes: Most college students who have a communicable disease, whether
they are symptomatic or not, will be allowed regular classroom attendance in an unrestricted
manner as long as they are physically able to attend classes and the risk of transmission
of the disease is sufficiently remote. (See EICC Board Policy 550.)
- Facility Restrictions: There is no medical justification for restricting the access
of students with communicable diseases to the Student Life Center, cafeteria, recreational
facilities, or other common areas.
- Admission Restrictions: Consideration of the existence of a communicable disease will
not be part of the initial admission decision for those applying to attend the institution.
- Identifying Victims: The District will encourage students to inform the Dean of Student
Development if they have a communicable disease. This, like all other medical information,
will be handled in a strictly confidential manner.
- Any course of action taken by the College with regard to this procedure will consider:
the physical condition of the employee or student; the type of interaction with others;
the potential risk factors; the current available public health department guidelines.
- Confidential Information:
Confidentiality of medical information is protected by statutes. The duty of health care providers to protect the confidentiality of information is superseded by the necessity to protect others only in very specific, life threatening circumstances. The number of people in the institution who are aware of the existence and/or identity of students or employees who have a communicable disease will be kept to a minimum, both to protect the confidentiality and privacy of the infected persons and to avoid unnecessary fear and anxiety among other students and staff.
- Referral for Testing: College staff and other appropriate personnel will be able to
refer students or employees to a source of testing, should it be requested.
- Attendance in Activities: If it is determined that the employee or student poses a
threat, the individual will be contacted in writing regarding the intended action.
The student or employee shall be entitled to due process through the general grievance
procedures. Before the employee or student returns to the College, a notification
that the individual no longer poses a risk must be received from the attending physician.
- Protecting from Exposure: Since some individuals with a communicable disease are unaware
of their status, safety precautions will be used in all cases where college students
or employees might handle the blood and body fluids of another person. In particular,
public safety personnel, custodians, students in Health related career programs, and
faculty and students in laboratory classroom situations will follow procedures which
emphasize avoiding direct contact of their skin and mucous membranes with the blood,
blood products, secretions, wastes, and tissues of any other individual. Any wound
or broken skin surface should be covered and protected from coming in contact with
potentially infected materials. Standards of good hygiene, which include washing hands
frequently and wearing gloves for cleaning restrooms if cuts, scratches or lesions
are present will be followed. Gloves will be worn when cleaning blood from any surface
following an accident, and the surface will be disinfected with a freshly mixed bleach
- Precautions in Science Laboratories: Laboratory courses requiring exposure to blood,
such as finger pricks for blood typing or examination, will use disposable equipment
and no lancets or other blood letting devices will be reused or shared. The recommended
procedure for the decontamination of environmental surfaces and objects soiled by
blood or body fluids is cleaning with household bleach freshly diluted 1:10 in water.
- Students assigned to health care facilities as part of their education will follow the policies, procedures, and precautions of the respective facility.