Policy on Communicable Diseases

Introduction

This policy defines communicable diseases and outlines the management procedures in the College environment for students and employees, or others having communicable diseases. This policy applies to all members of the college community, including students, employees, contractors, vendors, and visitors.

Definitions

“Communicable diseases” are diseases defined by the state and federal government as diseases that can be transmitted easily among a population. A list of state required notifiable conditions is on the Texas Department of State Health Services website - www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu.

Notifiable Conditions” are identified by the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS). TDSHS has the primary responsibility for all conditions listed on the document. (Please NOTE: Not all conditions listed on the NOTIFIABLE CONDITIONS list are communicable diseases. Other conditions exist on the list for general state wide statistical reporting from hospitals, physicians and laboratories. The document also refers to reporting requirements. Primary reporters of notifiable conditions are Physicians, Hospitals, and Laboratories. San Jacinto College is not a primary reporter of notifiable conditions and is therefore not under the same reporting requirements listed in the notifiable condition list.

  • “Health Response Team (HRT)” is responsible for managing communicable disease incidents at the College.
  • “Epidemic” means the occurrence in a community or region of cases of an infectious disease or illness that exceeds normal expectancy.
  • “Pandemic” is an epidemic of infectious disease that has spread through human populations across a large region.

General Policy

  • A complete list of communicable diseases is found on the Notifiable Conditions list as linked above.
  • The College’s decisions involving persons who have communicable diseases shall be based on current and well-informed medical judgments concerning the disease, the risks of transmitting the illness to others, the symptoms and special circumstances of each individual who has a communicable disease, and a careful weighing of the identified risks and the available alternatives for responding to a student/employee with a communicable disease. The College will consult with the Local Health Jurisdiction’s communicable disease specialist and Health Officer to receive recommended guidance for the best protection of the college population.
  • The College shall not discriminate in enrollment or employment against any individual solely on the grounds that the individual has a communicable disease. The College reserves the right to exclude, or restrict a person with a communicable disease from College facilities, programs, and functions if the College makes a medically-based determination that the person constitutes a direct threat to the health or safety of others.
  • The College shall comply with all pertinent statutes and regulations which protect the privacy of persons in the College community, including following all applicable Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) rules and any rules imposed by Texas law.
  • Depending on the nature of the communicable disease, the individual’s activities and responsibilities, and the safety risk to others, the College will evaluate whether a reasonable accommodation can be made to enable the individual to continue with his or her studies, employment, or other activities.