Communicable Diseases and/or Life Threatening Illnesses
Administrative Procedure 3.601/4.601
This administrative procedure is for employees and/or students who acquire a communicable disease or a life threatening illness, which may affect their health; safety; welfare, and that of others with whom they contact.
A communicable disease, as identified by the World Health Organization, are contagious illnesses that can be transmitted between people or animals in a variety of ways. All communicable diseases are transmitted via some form of infectious pathogen, such as bacteria or viruses and are defined as: “capable of being transmitted from one individual to another” (Tabers’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 2013, p.532).
ECC will make reasonable accommodations, in accordance with all legal requirements, to allow employees and students with communicable diseases or life-threatening illnesses to perform the essential functions of their job and/or academic responsibilities. The number of personnel aware of the employee’s or student’s condition will be kept at a minimum to insure proper care of the employee or student and to detect situations in which the potential for transmission of the communicable disease may increase. Persons deemed to have “a need to know” will be provided with the appropriate information; however, these persons shall not further disclose such information.
All medical information concerning employees and students is confidential. ECC will take the necessary precautions to protect medical information from inappropriate disclosure. Faculty, managers and other employees have a responsibility to respect and maintain the confidentiality of employee and student medical information. Anyone inappropriately disclosing medical information is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Decisions that ECC makes about employees and students with communicable diseases and/or life-threatening illnesses will be based on current and well-informed medical judgments concerning the disease; the risks of transmitting the disease to others; the symptoms, and special circumstances of each individual who has a communicable disease or a life-threatening illness. This may be done on a case-by-case basis.
Section 690.200 of the Illinois Communicable Diseases Code requires that ECC notify the local health authority (i.e., Kane County Health Department) or vis-a-versa, whenever an employee or student has or is suspected of having a communicable disease as defined in the Code. Further notification is the responsibility of the Chief Human Resources Officer or the Dean-Student Services and Development, and must occur within a specified time frame that ranges from three hours to seven days, depending on the disease or illness.
Diseases Requiring Immediate Notification
Class I (a)
When an employee is known or suspected to have one of the following diseases, as determined by the appropriate laboratory test or a confirmed diagnosis, the local health authority will be notified immediately (i.e., within three hours): Anthrax, Botulism (food borne), Brucellosis, Influenza A (Novel virus), Plague, Poliomyelitis, Q-fever, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, Smallpox, Tularemia (if suspected to be part of a bioterrorist event or part of an outbreak), or any suspected bio-terrorist threat or event.
Diseases Requiring Notification within 24 Hours
Class I (b)
The following diseases shall be reported as soon as possible during normal business hours, but within 24 hours, (i.e., within 8 regularly scheduled business hours after identifying the case) to the local health authorities, who shall then report to the Department as soon as possible, but within 24 hours: Botulism (infant, wound, and other), Brucellosis (not suspected to be a bio-terrorist event), Chicken Pox, Cholera, ,Escherichia coli infections, , Haemophilus influenzae or meningitis, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Hemolytic uremic syndrome, Hepatitis A, Influenza admissions into intensive care unit, Measles, Mumps, Neisseria meningitidis, Outbreaks of public health significance (foodborne/waterborne), Pertussis (i.e., whooping cough), Poliomyelitis, Q-fever due to Coxiella burnetii, Rabies, Rubella, Smallpox (complication of vaccination), Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, Group A Streptococcal infections, Tularemia (if not suspected to be part of a bioterrorist event or part of an outbreak), Typhoid fever, and Typhus
The following diseases shall be reported as soon as possible during normal business hours, but within seven days, to the local health authority, which shall then report to the Department within seven days: Arboviral infections, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Cryptosporidiosis, Cyclosporiasis, Giardiasis, Hepatitis B, C, or D, Histoplasmosis, Legionellosis, Leprosy, Leptospirosis, Listeriosis, Malaria, Psittacosis, Salmonellosis, Shigellosis, Toxic shock syndrome, Tetanus, Tickborne diseases, Trichinosis, Vibriosis, and Yersinosis.
Procedures Relating to Employees and Students
Employees and students with identified communicable diseases or life-threatening illnesses may work or attend college whenever, through reasonable accommodation, the risk of transmission of the disease (illness) or the risk of further injury is sufficiently remote.
Any course of action taken by the College with regard to this procedure will consider:
- The physical condition of the employee or student;
- The expected type of interaction the employee or student will have with others in the College setting;
- The potential risk factors for the employee or student and others in the College setting;
- The current available public health department guidelines concerning the particular disease in question, and
- Any other appropriate factors.
If it is the decision of the College President, or designee, that an employee or student with a communicable disease is not to be permitted to attend work or classes or participate in the College activities with other employees or students because s/he poses a serious health risk to others, the President, or designee, shall notify the employee or student of the intended action. After receiving notification, the employee or student shall be entitled to due process through normal grievance procedures.
Before an employee or student is allowed to return to normal work or resume academic activities, the employee or student must provide a note from a clinic, the applicable Department of Health, and/or physician that they no longer provide a risk (con-communicable) for their own health, safety, welfare, and that of others with whom they come in contact.
The Chief Human Resources Officer, and the Dean - Student Services and Development will insure that communicable disease educational outreach programs are developed to provide employees and students with appropriate factual material regarding disease matters and precautions. Should the College become aware of any employee or student who is infected with a communicable disease, the President, or designee, will be responsible for recommending action of the employee; or the student status of the individual; assess the possible risk to other employees and/or students, and for communicating with the appropriate health department authorities, as required. This will also include the confirmation of potential claims of communicable diseases by either employees or students.
There may be incidents which arise on the College campus that will require an institutional response to employees and students. Following confirmation, the President, Chief Human Resources Officer, the Dean – Student Services and Development and the Senior Director of Professional and Organizational Development/CETL/Emergency Preparedness and/or the Executive Director of Communications will seek appropriate medical advice and discuss with the Vice President of Teaching, Learning and Student Development and the Vice President of Business and Finance. Confidentiality will be maintained at all times. The President, or designee, will review the issues and will determine the appropriate action, based on the information regarding the employee and/or the student.
The Senior Director of Professional and Organization Development/CETL/Emergency Preparedness will work with Operations and Maintenance to insure that appropriate precautions are implemented to minimize the risk of further exposure in the spread of communicable diseases and/or life-threatening illnesses. This will include special attention to custodial and public safety employees.
Communication and External Inquiries
Official communications will be referred to the President’s office and all communications with external stakeholders will be disseminated from the President’s office.
ECC will comply with all applicable statutes and regulations that protect the privacy of persons who have a communicable disease or a life-threatening illness. Every effort will be made to ensure that procedurally sufficient safeguards are in place to maintain the confidentiality of medical information, which will only be disclosed to those individuals who have a legitimate need to know.
Employees who have questions or concerns about communicable diseases or life-threatening illnesses should contact the Chief Human Resources Officer, the Dean – Student Services and Development, or the College's Employee Assistance Program for information and referral to appropriate services and resources, if applicable.