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Communicable Disease and Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogen

I. COMMUNICABLE DISEASE

Isothermal Community College shall not exclude individuals diagnosed with communicable diseases unless a determination is made that the individual presents a health risk to themselves or others.  It is the policy of the college to consider the educational or employment status of those with a communicable disease on an individual basis.

The college will take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of members of the college community during global and local infectious disease events.  “Communicable disease” is defined as an illness caused by an infectious agent or its toxins that occurs through the direct or indirect transmission of the infectious agent or its products from an infected individual or via an animal, vector or the inanimate environment to a susceptible animal or human host.  Examples of communicable disease include, but are not limited to, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), chicken pox, hepatitis, measles, tuberculosis, meningitis, mononucleosis and whooping cough, and for purposes of this Policy only, those communicable diseases which constitute a disability pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

II. Vaccinations

Proof of immunizations are not required for employment by Isothermal Community College.  While Isothermal Community College does not mandate that employees receive vaccinations, clinical facilities/program sites reserve the right to mandate vaccinations for employees who work in certain programs, including but not limited to, Basic Law Enforcement Training, Associate Degree Nursing, Practical Nursing, and Dental Assisting. Employees must comply with the policies and procedures of the clinical/program host sites.  If an employee chooses not to comply with these policies and expectations, they may not be able to perform any duties at clinical/program host sites requiring vaccinations.  In compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, exemptions for vaccines based on medical or religious reasons may be requested.  Employees may be required to submit adequate documentation to support these claims and the determination for granting exemptions comes from the clinical/program site. In such cases where an employee fails to meet clinical/program site policy requirements and a reasonable accommodation cannot be provided, the employee will be removed from the responsibilities assigned at the site, which may result in an inability to fulfill employment requirements.

 

III. Occupational Exposure to Blood borne Pathogens

It is the policy of the college to comply with federal regulations and state statutes regarding blood borne pathogens as set forth in the Federal Register, 29 CFR §1910.1030, and the North Carolina Administrative Code, 10A NCAC 41A, by attempting to limit/prevent occupational exposure of employees to blood or other potentially infectious bodily fluids and materials that may transmit blood borne pathogens and lead to disease or death.

  1. Reasonably Anticipated Occupational Exposure
    An employee who could "reasonably anticipate” as a result of performing required job duties, to face contact with blood, bodily fluids or other potentially infectious materials are covered by the OSHA Blood borne Pathogens Standard, the North Carolina Administrative Code, and this policy. "Occupational exposure" includes any reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membrane or parenteral (brought into the body through some way other than the digestive tract) contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials that may result from the performance of an employee's duties. "Good Samaritan" acts, such as assisting a co-worker or student with a nosebleed would not be considered "reasonably anticipated occupational exposure.”
  2. Universal Precautions
    Universal precautions will be in force at all times.  All blood, body fluid and other potentially infectious material will be handled as if infected. The program standards for the control of potential exposure to HIV and HBV as outlined in the OSHA Rule "Occupational Exposure to Blood borne Pathogens" Standard 1910.1030, the NC Administrative Codes, or the most current standards available will be followed.
  3. Testing
    An employee who suspects that he/she has a blood or body fluid exposure as a result of performing required job duties may request to be tested, at the college’s expense, provided that the suspected exposure poses a significant risk of transmission as defined in the rules of the Commission for Health Services. The HIV and HBV testing of a person who is the source of an exposure that poses a significant risk of transmission will be conducted in accordance with 10A NC Administrative Code 41A .0202 (4) (HIV) and 41A .0203(b)(3) (HBV). The college will strictly adhere to existing confidentiality rules and laws regarding employees with communicable diseases, including HIV or HIV-associated conditions.

The President, in collaboration with faculty and staff, shall develop procedures for the implementation of this policy.  Any actions undertaken pursuant to this policy will be in accordance with applicable federal and state laws, college policies, and in the best interest of all parties.

Policy Number: 306-02-00BP

Reference: 29 CFR §1910.1030; 10A NCAC 41A; 10A NC Administrative Code 41A .0202 (4) (HIV) and 41A .0203(b)(3) (HBV)

Adopted: June 29, 2010

Amended: April 6, 2021

Procedures for self-reporting illness