659: Communicable Disease/Bloodborne Pathogens

The Hopkins School District has a vital interest in the health and safety of its students, staff, and community. The District assumes a partnership with families and the community to provide an educational environment where students and employees learn about serious communicable or infectious diseases. This policy will focus on non-readily transmissible diseases and blood borne pathogens. To this end, the director of Special Services in collaboration with the director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment will ensure that students receive instruction in prevention and that health/social services are provided to and will achieve the following objectives:

1. Include students and staff, who may be infected with communicable diseases, in the regular school environment until the health of students, staff or others may be compromised.

2. Develop, implement and maintain a comprehensive program for teaching students about prevention of serious communicable infectious diseases, and blood borne pathogens including (sexually transmitted infections).

3. Maintain employment procedures that do not exclude staff from attending to their customary employment so long as they are physically, mentally and emotionally able to safely perform tasks assigned to them and so long as their employment does not create a substantial risk for transmission of illness to students, staff or others in the School District.

4. Comply with Minnesota reporting procedures, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991.

5. Apply the same strict confidentiality requirements that pertain to any medical disclosure, with the knowledge that affected persons shall be entitled to the full protection of laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of medical disability.

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Adopted: June 4, 1987
Revised: April 8, 1999, March 6, 2014, April 18, 2017


DISTRICT CODE: 659 - REGULATIONS

DEFINITIONS

Standard Precautions

A procedure that details prevention methods for all body fluids that may contain disease-causing organisms (refer to Hopkins District Crisis Manual).

Communicable Disease:

Disease due to an infectious agent that may be transmitted directly or indirectly from one individual to another.

Communicable diseases can be divided into two categories: those that are readily transmitted in the school environment and those that are not.

1. Readily transmissible diseases include influenza, cold and other respiratory diseases.

2. Non-readily transmissible disease examples include Tuberculosis or Hepatitis B and C. These are life-threatening illnesses that are caused by bodily fluid transfer, blood borne pathogens or sexually transmitted infectious agents.

Designated Medical provider

The appropriate principal or school nurse will coordinate with Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department - Epidemiology for assistance.

Student Education

The Department of Teaching and Learning in collaboration with the Health Education Department will develop and implement a comprehensive, age appropriate program for teaching students about prevention of communicable diseases and other blood borne pathogens as an integral part of the K-12 health curriculum. Parents will be informed of school prepared curricular materials to reinforce the School District’s efforts. Curriculum will include materials provided by the Centers for Disease Control and incorporate recommendations provided by the District Health Committee.

STUDENT ATTENDANCE

When it becomes known that a student is infected with a non-readily transmissible disease the school nurse will be contacted and will determine when and whether the following process will be initiated:

1. Contact the student and parent regarding medical needs during the school day. 

2. Report the case to the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department - Epidemiology.

3. If the nurse finds no specific conditions that would increase the risk of infection to the student or others, the student’s attendance in regular classroom setting is to continue without interruption.

4. If the nurse determines that specific conditions would increase the risk of infection to the student or others, the nurse in collaboration with building administration and the Director of Special Services will establish a plan for addressing the emergent concerns.

5. In the event that the team finds circumstances that would require unusual action to safeguard the welfare of the infected student or other students and staff in the school environment, the following actions will be taken:

a. The Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department - Epidemiology will be contacted to seek a case review and recommendation for action regarding the student’s on-going attendance at school.

b. Based on the results of the case review, the nurse will formulate a plan that balances the infected student’s right to continued education and the rights of other students and employees to be free from the risk of exposure to non-readily transmissible diseases.

6. If the health conditions determined by the team result in student absences, homebound or other instruction may be provided dependent on the student’s ability to benefit from such instruction.

EMPLOYEE EDUCATION

School District employees at risk of infection through their day-to-day assignment will participate in educational programs about communicable diseases and blood borne pathogens.

EMPLOYEE STATUS

When it becomes known that an employee is infected with a non-readily transmissible disease, the Human Resource Department will be contacted and will determine when and whether the following process will be initiated:

1. Contact the employee regarding medical needs during the school day.

2. Report case to the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department - Epidemiology.

3. If Human Resources finds no specific conditions that would increase the risk of infection to the employee or others, the employee’s attendance at work is to continue without interruption. 

4. If there are specific conditions that would increase the risk of infection to the employee or others, Human Resources will establish a team to be comprised of Human Resources director or designee, employee, school nurse, employee’s physician and/or district designated physician, and other personnel deemed appropriate.

5. In the event that the team finds circumstances that would require unusual action to safeguard the welfare of the infected employee or other students and staff in the school environment, the following actions will be taken:

a. The team will contact the Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department - Epidemiology to seek a case review and recommendation for action regarding the employee’s on-going attendance at work.

b. Based on the results of the case review, the team will formulate a recommendation that balances the infected employee’s right to continued work and the rights of other students and employees to be free from the risk of exposure to HIV/AIDS or other blood borne pathogens.

CONFIDENTIALITY OF MEDICAL INFORMATION

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Federal regulations and state laws concerning the handling of medical information for persons with disabilities are designed to protect the privacy of individuals when there is no overriding public need to know.