Communicable diseases policy

Purpose

The purpose of this Communicable Diseases Policy (“Policy”) is to establish guidelines for the effective and appropriate management of issues relating to communicable diseases affecting members of the University community.

Policy

An occurrence of a communicable disease can threaten the health and welfare of the entire Lynn community. Such infectious diseases include, but are not limited to:

1. Measles;
2. Tuberculosis;
3. Hepatitis;
4. Meningitis;
5. Chicken Pox;
6. Influenza;
7. Pneumonia;
8. Mononucleosis; and
9. Ebola.

It is the intent of the University to reasonably guard the Lynn community from exposure to communicable diseases while simultaneously protecting the rights of an infected student or employee.

With that purpose in mind, it is mandated that any student diagnosed with a communicable disease will directly notify the Director of the University Health Center or the Dean of Students. Employees diagnosed with a communicable disease must directly notify their immediate supervisor or the Employee Services Office, who in turn shall notify the Director of the University Health Center. Depending upon the nature of the illness, the director may in turn notify the appropriate University officials, as well as the Palm Beach County Public Health Department (as required by law). As long as medical evidence indicates that the involved student or employee does not pose a risk to himself/herself or others, all reasonable accommodations will be made to permit the student or employee in question to continue his or her academic studies or return to work.

Definitions

Communicable Diseases—any disease that can be transmitted from one individual directly to another individual. Some communicable diseases can be spread by casual contact. For example, colds, flu, and tuberculosis can be spread from respiratory droplets that may be transmitted through coughing, sneezing, or a runny nose. Other communicable diseases require contact with an infected individual’s blood, body fluids, or genitalia, such as Hepatitis B, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (the virus that causes AIDS), chlamydia, genital herpes, and syphilis. This Policy is concerned only with those communicable diseases that pose a significant threat to the life or health of others, and all references to “communicable diseases” herein are to be understood as having that more restricted meaning.

Infected Individual—an individual who either has or reasonably suspects a communicable disease infection.

Procedures/Guidelines

I. General Guidelines

In working with employees or students diagnosed with any serious communicable disease, the University will proceed on a case-by-case basis. The University’s decision will be made on a case-by-case basis with the advice of medical professionals. In reaching the decision, these factors will be considered:

1. The condition of the individual and the individual’s ability to perform job duties or academic responsibilities;
2. The probability of infection of co-workers, students, or other members of the Lynn University community based on the expected interaction of the person in the Lynn University setting;
3. The possible consequences to co-workers, students, and other members of the Lynn University community, if infected;
4. Possible reasonable accommodations and modifications or other obligations to take account of the condition;
5. Risk to the individual’s health from remaining in the academic setting, on the job, or in the Lynn University community; and
6. Other appropriate factors.

Any determination with respect to an employee or student will be made following consultation with the affected employee or student, the employee or student’s treating physician (if available), and such other persons as need to be involved in such a situation.

A student who requires an extended absence (greater than three school days) should notify the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will determine whether the excuse is warranted. The student will be required to fill out a Student Absence Form. Any student experiencing a medical circumstance which does not permit him or her to remain a part of the University community for an extended period of time may apply for a medical withdrawal. Employees who require an extended absence should confer with Employee Services to determine which of the University’s leave policies should be utilized.

Any student that has been diagnosed with a communicable disease and is no longer contagious will provide the University Health Center with documentation from his or her treating health care provider. Employees should provide such documentation to Employee Services. The documentation should reflect that the individual is not contagious and that he or she is capable of returning to the rigors of academic studies or work as applicable. The returning student and employee will also comply with all follow up care as described by the medical provider. II. Public Health Emergencies and Pandemics
Procedures for handling pandemic outbreaks are described in detail within the Lynn University Critical Incident Management Plan.

II. Public Health Emergencies and Pandemics

Procedures for handling pandemic outbreaks are described in detail within the Lynn University Critical Incident Management Plan.

To learn more about this policy or the supporting procedures, please contact Student Affairs.

Policy updated on: Oct. 24, 2018