SUBJECT: Bloodborne Pathogens and Communicable Disease Management in the School Setting
- Board Directive
The Board recognizes that staff and students may come in contact with bloodborne pathogens and/or communicable diseases during the school day and delegates the responsibility for developing appropriate policy for the protection of staff and students.
- Administrative Policy
The Administration authorizes the following administrative policy provisions for protection from bloodborne pathogens to staff and students:
- Bloodborne Pathogens
Since body fluids may contain a variety of potentially infectious organisms, it is important for all school personnel to know how to clean them up properly to prevent the spread of infection to students, other school personnel, and to themselves.
- All employees of Jordan School District are required to participate in annual instruction in using Universal Precautions when dealing with cleanup of all blood or body fluids.
- The Universal Precautions must be observed in the cleanup of all blood or body fluids. All employees will treat all blood and body fluids as if known to be infected with HIV, HBV, and other bloodborne pathogens.
- Communicable Diseases
Communicable diseases are a leading cause of childhood morbidity and school absences. Students and staff with communicable diseases, which can be transmitted directly or indirectly from one individual to another, require special consideration in the school setting. The transmission of infectious disease may be prevented by all school staff using procedures of effective infection control. In the school environment, the risk of exposure can be unpredictable, thus control measure that are simple and uniform across all situations have the greatest likelihood of compliance and success.
- The spread of infectious disease can be prevented or deterred if students and staff adhere to basic principles of good personal hygiene, cleanliness, and recommended use of any necessary personal protective measures.
- Schools are legally authorized to prohibit school attendance by students, if necessary, to prevent the spread of contagious disease.
- Case management will inhibit the spread of contagious illness in school and minimize excessive absences. Activities include:
- Potential exclusion of students and staff with communicable diseases.
- Appropriate follow-up to ensure treatments and prompt readmission to school.
- The state health agency is responsible for initiating measures to suppress or prevent the spread of disease and for implementing regulation relating to quarantine, isolation, and other control measures to protect the public.
- Children with chronic infectious disease are entitled to a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. If a student will be absent from school due to an infectious disease, reasonable accommodation, which may include Home and Hospital program services, could be appropriate.
- Persons with suppressed immune systems run a higher than normal risk of severe complications from common communicable illnesses.
- Students with a suppressed immune system may need to be temporarily excluded from school when there is an outbreak of a communicable disease for their own protection.
- Students with a suppressed immune system should have an individual health care plan in place with specific guidelines that will be implemented in the event of an outbreak.
- The decision to exclude the student from school should be made by the District nurse in conjunction with the student’s parent(s), physician and local health department when necessary.
- The District nurses are responsible for providing schools with exclusion protocol. The assigned District nurse is responsible to provide in-service education for the individual needs.
- Management of a Communicable Disease Program
Regardless of the specific disease, certain elements are critical to the management of a communicable disease program.
- All employees, including those with chronic infectious diseases, have a right to confidentiality and access to employment as well as other rights, privileges, and services provided by federal and state laws.
- All children, including those with chronic infectious diseases, have a right to confidentiality and a free and appropriate public education. Students with chronic infectious diseases are eligible for all rights, privileges, and services provided by federal and state laws.
- Measures to isolate students with chronic infectious diseases are usually not necessary. Irrational fears related to chronic infectious diseases can be mitigated through planned health education programs for school staff, students, and parents. Education programs should include information regarding the mode of transmission and the methods of preventing the transmission of infectious diseases.
- The school should respect the right to privacy of the individual. If a student has an infectious disease, such knowledge should be confined to those persons with a direct need to know.
- Those persons who are informed of the identity of an infected child should be made aware of confidentiality requirements.
- The identity of an individual with an infectious disease should not be revealed except as required by law for reporting purposes.
- Health records should be confidential.
- A student should never be discriminated against because of an infectious disease.
- In the event of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease, in cooperation with the local department of health, all susceptible students (i.e., students with medical or religious exemption from immunization) must be excluded or immunized.
- Management by District Nurses
Jordan School District nurses are the most appropriate persons to coordinate with the local health department. They should be responsible for instituting measures to prevent or control the spread of communicable diseases. Their knowledge and judgment are essential for the collection and interpretation of data related to infectious disease. Jordan School District nurses should:
- Participate in the development and revision of infectious disease policies and procedures, and consult with local or state health department personnel as needed.
- Interpret infectious disease policies and procedures to school personnel, parents and students.
- Provide health information, and in-service programs regarding infectious diseases.
- Promote positive health practices for the school community.
- Develop individual health care plans for students with chronic infectious diseases.
- Recommend modification of the school program for infected students as needed.
- Monitor and assess students with infectious diseases
- Monitor and assess the school environment for the effective infection control standards.
- Make recommendations for purchase of proper equipment and supplies.
- Serve as an advocate for students with infectious diseases.
- Act as a liaison between the school, home, and medical/health agencies for the students with infectious diseases.
- Keep up with current information, rules and regulation, policies, and procedures related to infectious disease.