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Communicable Diseases Procedure - 63.10.01

College Policy Number/Title:

Howard Community College recognizes that employees and students with communicable diseases may be able to continue their employ­ment and class attendance as their conditions allow. Since an individual's medical condition is confidential, precautions are to be taken by college personnel to ensure that information regarding the health of an employee or student is provided only to those persons with a need to know.

In order for potential cases to be verified and appropriate steps to be taken, suspected cases of communicable diseases should be confidentially reported. Suspected cases involving students should be confidentially reported to the vice president of student success. Suspected cases involving employees should be confidentially reported to the office of human resources. If appropriate, the Howard County Health Department will be contacted for further suggested protocol.

In the event of a large-scale communicable disease outbreak, Howard Community College may require vaccinations and/or other mitigation measures for employees and students. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action (see employee and student codes of conduct).

As long as medical evidence indicates that an individual’s medical conditions are not a danger to self or others, and an individual can meet normal performance standards, continued employment and classroom activities will not be jeopardized. For any employee or student who wishes to work or study on campus despite having an infectious disease, the college requires a statement from the individual's attending physician verifying that continued presence at the college will pose no threat to employees, co-workers, or students, specifying that the individual may return to campus, and noting any limitations.

To ensure the confidentiality of any individual's medical condition, and also to protect students, employees, and the public, standard precautions will be used in first-aid and in all situations that could involve contact with or transmission of communicable diseases of any kind.

See standard precautions under procedure 63.10.10, Injuries, First Aid, and Standard Precautions.

In the event that there is a spill of bodily fluids, (i.e., blood or other fluids) public safety should be contacted immediately. Public safety is the first responder in all emergencies. Environmental Services should be the only area to clean spills of bodily fluids.

Howard Community College has established an "Exposure Control Plan" to document the procedures intended to minimize and to prevent, when possible, the exposure of HCC employees to disease-causing pathogens that may be transmitted through human blood. The pathogens standard is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MOSH). The purpose of the bloodborne pathogens standard is to reduce the potential for occupational transmission of infections caused by micro-organisms sometimes found in human blood and certain other potentially infectious body fluids or tissues.

The college’s "Exposure Control Plan" is made available to all employees with a potential for exposure during the new employee orientation. In addition, copies of the "Exposure Control Plan" are kept in these locations:

  • human resources office;
  • Training & Development Solutions by Howard Community College;
  • facilities office;
  • athletic and fitness center office;
  • library office;
  • Hickory Ridge building and division offices;
  • Duncan Hall and division offices; and
  • department of public safety web page (electronic copy).

Effective Date: 11/12/21b

President's Office Use:  VPAF/CHRO/VPSS

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