The University Policy Manual

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Communicable Disease

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • (Approved by the Chancellor, October 12, 2015)
  • (Revised, August 13, 2018)

Purpose

Communicable diseases, those understood to have serious, deleterious effects on human health, and which are transmitted and spread through various forms of human contact, can pose a considerable threat to the well-being of the entire University community. Examples of communicable diseases include, but are not limited to:

  • Hepatitis
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Measles
  • Meningitis
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Influenza
  • Tuberculosis
  • Norovirus
  • Pertussis
  • Ebola

Recognizing the serious implications of communicable diseases on campus, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will:

  1. Operate under the auspices of sound medical advice and practice based on current information.
  2. Take into consideration the welfare of the campus community while respecting the privacy and needs of individuals.
  3. Provide all members of the University community with educational resources that foster an understanding of disease transmission and prevention.
  4. Provide or coordinate appropriate, compassionate, and non-discriminatory services for persons living with infectious disease(s).
  5. Conform to North Carolina health laws concerning communicable disease reporting, testing, and immunization and require appropriate documentation of the current immunization status of all students.

Scope

This policy applies to all faculty, staff, senior administrative officers, non-faculty EHRA employees, SHRA employees, students, guests, and other authorized individuals who are present on property owned, leased, managed, or operated by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro or any component, including departments, offices, centers, or similar.

Policy

Definitions

Communicable Disease:
“Illness due to a specific infectious agent or its toxic products that arises through transmission of that agent or its products from an infected person, animal, or reservoir to a susceptible host, either directly, or indirectly through an intermediate plant or animal host, vector, or the inanimate environment” (Dictionary of Epidemiology, as cited by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services).

Relation to the American Disabilities Act

The University will not unlawfully discriminate in policy or practice, including admissions and employment policies, against individuals who have or are at risk for communicable diseases. The University will be in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as it relates to those students and employees who have communicable diseases. Any university decisions ensuing from individuals’ health-related circumstances will be made considering each unique instance, applicable confidentiality considerations, and relevant medical facts.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality of medical records for those students and employees who seek information about, obtain testing for, or receive treatment for certain communicable diseases from Student Health Services is protected by state and federal law. However, North Carolina law requires medical care providers to notify public health officials of newly confirmed cases of specified communicable diseases so that testing of contacts by public health officials can be pursued. In accordance with HIPAA regulations, Student Health Services’ medical providers will not discuss a student’s or employee’s diagnosis with any other person without the explicit authorization of that person, except as required by law. There is the possibility of disclosure in the event of a valid court order or subpoena from a court of competent jurisdiction. Students within the University community who have a communicable disease are encouraged to utilize the medical, psychological, and educational services afforded through Student Health Services’ medical clinic and counseling services. For those medical and psychological services that are not available on campus or are outside the scope of care provided at SHS, appropriate referral will be made to community or regional resources. Employees who have a communicable disease are encouraged to utilize community health care resources.

Athletics and Recreation

The uncertain risk of infection posed by involvement in contact sports will be addressed by collaborative association among Student Health Services, Kaplan Center for Recreation & Wellness, and Athletics and in compliance with the appropriate best practices, regulatory requirements, and accreditation requirements for competitive athletics, intramural athletics, and club sports.

Occupational Safety

Occupational safety and health standards mandated under federal and state law regarding the transmission of blood-borne pathogens will be fully adhered to prevent transmission of disease in classrooms, laboratories, and work spaces. This compliance will be coordinated through the UNCG Office of Environmental Health & Safety.

Public Health Incidents

When necessary, management of UNCG public health incidents such as isolating the infected person(s) and/or quarantining their contacts or testing their contacts shall be at the direction of the North Carolina and/or Guilford County Departments of Health & Human Services. University work units and personnel supporting the incident should adhere to the University’s emergency plans.

The Director of Student Health Services will administer this policy. Any actions undertaken pursuant to this policy will be in accordance with applicable federal and state laws, UNCG policies, and in the best interest of all parties. The Director of Student Health Services will also act as the representative for the campus regarding all communicable disease policy-related decisions and/or changes.

The Medical Director of Student Health Services will serve as the primary representative for the campus on matters related to infection and as coordinator of the clinical response for students who are infected. He/she will also coordinate with the North Carolina and Guilford County Departments of Health and Human Services and act as the campus public health liaison to county and state health officials.

Advisory Committee

The University will establish a Communicable Disease Advisory Committee for continuous operation that will meet at least annually or as necessary to respond to public health threats. Appointed by the Chancellor (or designee), this Committee will address specific policy and program issues related to disease prevention on campus and monitor the institution’s response to these issues.

This Committee will be chaired by the Director of Student Health Services and be representative of the campus community. The Committee will consist of a core decision-making group that will collaborate with State and local departments of health as well as an ad hoc group that will be activated as required to address individual incidents. The core group will include:

  • Director of Student Health Services
  • Student Health Services Medical Director
  • Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs

The Communicable Disease Ad Hoc group may include, but not be limited to, the following, as mandated by the nature(s) of specific communicable disease event(s):

  • Director of Emergency Management
  • Student Health Services Counseling Center Director
  • Office of Environmental Health and Safety representative
  • Director of Housing and Residence Life
  • Human Resource Services representative
  • Recreation and Wellness Center representative
  • Facilities Operations representative
  • Athletics Department representative
  • University Communications representative
  • Academic Affairs representative
  • UNCG Police Department representative
  • General Counsel representative
  • International Programs representative

Responsibilities of the Committee include:

  1. Monitoring public health issues regarding communicable diseases and making recommendations to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (or designee) as appropriate
  2. Reviewing campus activities, as requested, involving occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens and infectious diseases and making recommendations to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (or designee) as appropriate
  3. Providing campus-wide education on communicable diseases and related issues as appropriate
  4. Meeting at least annually and as needed to address specific public health concerns as they occur
  5. Facilitating compliance with a campus response to North Carolina and local health department directives during an outbreak and subsequent investigation

Enforcement

Any violation of this policy by a University student is subject to the Student Code of Conduct in the student handbook. For employees, any violation of this policy is “misconduct” under EHRA policies (faculty and EHRA non-faculty) and “unacceptable personal conduct” under SHRA policies including any appeal rights stated therein.

Violations of law may also be referred for criminal or civil prosecution.

Related Policies

Contacts for Additional Information and Reporting

This policy is administered by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
134 Mossman Building
(336)334-5099
studentaffairs@uncg.edu

Office of Student Health
Anna Gove Student Health Center
107 Gray Drive
(336)334-5340
student.health@uncg.edu

Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategy and Policy
policy@uncg.edu