3.27 Communicable Diseases
(Revised 5-12-2008; revised 8-25- 2014, 3-7-2022)
The College will take appropriate action to minimize the risk of transmission of communicable diseases and to maintain a safe campus and educational environment. Some College departments have additional restrictions and procedures that must be followed due to the nature of the educational environment.
3.27.1 Definitions (Revised 8-25-2014, 3-7-2022)
The following definitions apply to this Policy:
Communicable Disease – An infectious disease that is capable of transmission to other individuals through close contact, exposure to routine secretions, and/or physical proximity on a college campus. A communicable disease may be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). For purposes of this Policy, this term is not intended to include diseases for which transmission is virtually eliminated as a result of the application of standard universal precautions or other effective measures.
Assessment Team – A multi-disciplinary team convened to review and assess the student’s communicable disease and its effect on the College community.
Others or Others in the College Community – Employees, students, and visitors to the College or any of its satellite facilities or properties.
Epidemic – The occurrence in a community or region of cases of an illness clearly in excess of normal expectancy.
Pandemic – A disease epidemic that has spread across multiple continents or worldwide.
3.27.2 Disclosure (Revised 8-25-2014, 12-6-2021, 3-7-2022)
A student who becomes aware that they have or may have a communicable disease of public health concern shall self-report this information to the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee. A College employee who has personal knowledge that a College student has or may have a communicable disease of public health concern must also report this fact to the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee.
3.27.3 Assessment (Revised 8-25-2014, 12-6-2021)
Upon receipt of a report that a student has or may have a communicable disease, the Chief Student Affairs Officer is authorized to temporarily exclude the student from College property until a multi-disciplinary team (“Assessment Team” or “Team”) is convened to review and assess the student’s condition.
The Assessment Team will be composed of the following: (1) the Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee; (2) a physician or other consultant with knowledge of the particular disease, selected by the College; (3) the student’s health care provider; and (4) other College representatives as appropriate. The student and/or their representative will be involved in the assessment process, but the decision on how the situation will be handled will be determined by the College.
The Chief Student Affairs Officer must convene the Team within five (5) working days after receiving a report that a student has or may have a communicable disease. Members of the Team are responsible for arranging their schedules to meet at the time and place designated by the Chief Student Affairs Officer. Because of the importance of addressing the communicable disease promptly, this meeting will not be rescheduled because of the unavailability of one or more members. However, members of the Team may participate remotely upon giving advance notice to the Chief Student Affairs Officer.
The Team will assess, review, and consider the following: (1) the student’s condition; (2) the present and future risk of transmission to others; (3) the existence and practicality of implementing precautions, methods, and strategies to eliminate or reduce the risk of transmission to others; (4) the restrictions, if any, that will be required to prevent the student from creating the risk of transmission to others; (5) whether the student should be excluded (or continue to be excluded) from College premises, and, if so, whether alternative educational arrangements can be made; and (6) if warranted, the date upon which the Team will reconvene to reassess the matter.
The Team will make a determination regarding the student’s exclusion (or continued exclusion) from the College and/or the conditions or restrictions on the student’s return to the College (if any) within three (3) working days after it has convened. The Team’s determination will be documented in writing and the Chief Student Affairs Officer shall provide written notice of the determination to the student and President of the College.
If the student’s condition is chronic or persists for more than a short, definable period, the Team shall reassess its determination as often as the Team deems appropriate.
This assessment process is not intended to limit or otherwise inhibit the right of the College to contact the local health authority or other public health official for guidance or direction in handling a communicable disease situation. Directives or orders from public health officials shall supersede the assessment process in this Policy.
To aid in its assessment, the Team may request that the student provide a HIPAA compliant authorization that permits the Team to communicate with the student’s health care provider(s) regarding the status and effect of the student’s communicable disease. In addition, the Team may require the student, at the College’s expense and in accordance with law, to undergo a physical examination and/or medical tests that are narrowly tailored to assist the Team in determining whether the student still has a communicable disease. A student who refuses to provide consent to enable the Team to communicate with the student’s health care provider(s) or to undergo the required examination/tests may be subject to exclusion from College property, as permitted by law, until such time as consent is provided or the Team determines that the student may return in accordance with this Policy.
3.27.5 Return to the College (Revised 8-25-2014)
The Team is authorized to decide that the student may return to the College if it determines that one or more of the following is true:
- The student never had or no longer has the communicable disease, or
- The communicable disease is not in the infectious or contagious stage, or
- The communicable disease poses little to no risk of transmission in the College environment upon the application of universal precautions or other effective measures.
3.27.6 Appeal (Revised 8-25-2014, 12-6-2021)
The student may appeal the Team’s determination to the President of the College in writing within three (3) working days of the receipt of the Team’s decision. The student shall set forth in writing the reasons why the Team’s decision should be modified or reversed. As part of the appeal process, the President is entitled to review all documentation produced and considered by the Team. Upon conclusion of this review, the President will issue a written decision to the Team and the student. The President’s decision shall be final. However, if the student believes that the actions under this Policy were taken in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 (“Section 504”) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the student is permitted to submit an appeal by proceeding to the final level of the College’s grievance Policy on Section 504/ADA complaints. A copy of that Policy may be obtained from the College’s Compliance Coordinator for these laws, whose contact information is as follows:
Chief Student Affairs Officer
East Central College
1964 Prairie Dell Road
Union, MO 63084
A student who is unable to resolve a problem or grievance under Section 504 or the ADA has the right to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights for the United States Department of Education, 1010 Walnut Street, Suite 320, Kansas City, MO 64106; phone 816-268-0550.
3.27.7 Confidentiality (Revised 8-25-2014)
Students with communicable diseases have a right to privacy and a need for confidentiality of their medical information. Therefore, to preserve this right, the following rules will apply:
- The student’s medical condition and related information may be disclosed only to those individuals who need to know the information to implement this Policy, to assure that proper care is provided, and/or to detect/monitor situations in which the potential for transmission of the communicable disease may increase, as well as to those individuals who are otherwise authorized to receive, or who must receive, this information under law.
- The student’s medical information shall be retained in a file separate from the student’s other records. This separate file shall be maintained by the Chief Student Affairs Officer.
- Willful, negligent, or unauthorized disclosure of information about a student’s medical condition will be cause for remedial or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
3.27.8 Epidemics/Pandemics (Adopted 3-7-2022)
Should any disease reach an epidemic or pandemic stage, the College will review and monitor the situation and rely on information and guidance from local, state, and federal authorities to provide appropriate information to the College community. The College President may temporarily close the College if such closure serves the best interest of the College community. In addition, the College President may institute quarantine or isolation protocols; restrict travel to high-risk locations; limit access to facilities; institute measures such as social distancing, enhanced cleaning protocols, and suspension of classes; and/or implement other measures to mitigate disease transmission as recommended by local, state, and federal public health officials. The College President will establish a return to campus plan for all students that supersedes the procedures above.