POL-U1000.12 Reporting Communicable Diseases

Dates and Approval

Effective Date:

September 20, 2010

Revised Date:

December 3, 2020

Approved by:

President Sabah Randhawa

Who does this policy apply to?

This policy applies to all University personnel including faculty, staff, volunteers, students, prospective students and visitors.

Overview

There is no overview for this policy.

Definitions

Campus

Any Western owned or leased locations, and activities that involve the physical presence of Western students, faculty or staff and their interactions with others.

Communicable Disease

(WAC 246-101-010) A disease caused by an infectious agent which can be transmitted from one person, animal, or object to another person by direct or indirect means including transmission via an intermediate host or vector, food, water, or air. Communicable disease shall include, but not be limited to:

  • Chickenpox (varicella)
  • Hepatitis
  • Influenza
  • Measles
  • Meningitis
  • Mumps
  • Norovirus (viral gastroenteritis)
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)*

* Employees are required to report to their supervisor and email HR.COVID.Assistance@wwu.edu if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or, if they have had close contact with individuals that have COVID-19, even if they have no symptoms

Isolation

Separation of infected individuals (those who are sick) from those uninfected for the period of communicability of a particular disease.

Medical Director

Director of Western Washington University’s Student Health Center.

Official University Business

Activities performed by faculty, staff or registered volunteers as directed in order to accomplish university programs or as required by the duties of his/her/their position or office. Included in this definition are credit and non-credit study abroad and exchange programs and any other travel abroad program that is required, sponsored, organized, funded, endorsed or contracted by the university.

On-Site Employees

Anyone who meets the requirements to be physically present at any of Western's locations.

Outbreak Notice

Notification by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that an outbreak of a disease is occurring in a particular area. The risk for the individual traveler is felt to be definable and limited because transmission has occurred in defined settings or is associated with specific risk factors. There is no recommendation against non-essential travel to the area. The alert provides advice on precautions to safeguard travelers’ health.

Pandemic Influenza Affected Area

Area identified by either the CDC or World Health Organization (WHO) as having a high risk of transmission of pandemic influenza.

Quarantine

Restriction of freedom of movement of apparently well individuals who have been exposed to infectious disease.

Travel Health Precaution

Notification by CDC that a disease outbreak of greater scope is occurring in a more widespread geographic area. The risk for the individual traveler is thought to be increased in defined settings or associated with specific risk factors (e.g., transmission in a healthcare or hospital setting where ill patients are being cared for). There is no recommendation against non-essential travel to the area. The alert provides accurate information to travelers and Americans living abroad about the status of the outbreak (e.g., magnitude, scope, and rapidity of spread), specific precautions to reduce their risk for infection, and what to do if they become ill while in the area.

Travel Health Warning

Notification by CDC that a disease is occurring in a particular area and a recommendation against non-essential travel to the area. The risk for the traveler is considered to be much higher because of community transmission or inadequate containment. These travel health warnings are updated by CDC.

Policy Statements

1. Vice Presidents Ensure Appropriate Administration of Policy

The Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services or designee is responsible for the administration of this policy as it pertains to student reporting. The Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs or designee is responsible for the administration of this policy as it pertains to employee reporting. A committee comprised of representatives from faculty, staff, administration and students, may be called upon by the Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services or the Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs or their designees for assistance to address a particular situation. All vice presidents and the President will take appropriate action to ensure the policy and procedures are followed in their respective areas and are in compliance with state and federal laws.

2. Individuals who Work On-site are to Inform a University Administrator of a Known or Suspected Communicable Disease

Persons who work on-site who know or who have reason to believe that they are infected with a communicable disease have an ethical and legal obligation to conduct themselves in ways that minimize exposure in order to protect themselves and others.

Students and employees who know, or have reason to believe, that they have a communicable disease will inform the appropriate university administrator. Students should contact the Student Health Center or the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services. Administrators, faculty or staff members who become aware of a potential or known condition involving a student should contact the Medical Director.

Employees unable to attend work due to a known or suspected communicable disease should contact both their health care provider and report their absence to their supervisor. Employees and supervisors are encouraged to also contact Human Resources for guidance regarding disclosure of a communicable disease and for assistance working with their department with any necessary leave or restrictions. Human Resources will notify the Medical Director of any suspected or known communicable diseases.

3. Individuals who Work On-site Inform a University Administrator of a Suspected Exposure to a Person with a Confirmed Communicable Disease

Persons who work on-site know or who have reason to believe that they were in close contact to a person with a lab-confirmed communicable disease will inform the appropriate university administrator. Students should contact the Student Health Center or the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services. Administrators, faculty or staff members who become aware of a suspected exposure involving a student should contact the Medical Director.

Employees who know or have reason to believe they were exposed to a person with a lab-confirmed communicable disease should contact both their health care provider and report such exposure to their supervisor. Employees and supervisors are encouraged to also contact Human Resources for guidance regarding disclosure of a communicable disease and for assistance working with their department with any necessary leave or restrictions. Human Resources will notify the Medical Director of any employee’s suspected exposure to someone with a confirmed communicable disease.

4. Individuals who Work On-site Arriving from a Travel Health Warning Area or a Pandemic Influenza Affected Area Must Contact Medical Director

Individuals who work on-site traveling for official university business will comply with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travel Health Warnings for each country outside the U.S. they plan to visit.

It is the responsibility of the employee to review POL-U2105.01 (Traveling Outside the United States) prior to travel.

Any employee, student, prospective student, volunteer or visitor who knowingly arrives from a Travel Health Warning area or a Pandemic Influenza Affected Area must contact the Medical Director for medical clearance before being allowed on campus to attend classes, work or other activities.

5. Medical Director has Authority to Ensure the Health and Safety of the Campus Community

The Medical Director has authority to take appropriate action per the County Health Department and CDC guidelines for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring of University employees, students, volunteers or visitors to ensure the health and safety of the campus community.

6. Individual May be Restricted from Work, Classes or Other University Access

Persons with communicable diseases shall be excluded from enrollment or employment or restricted in their access to university facilities, programs or services if a medically based judgment, in an individual case, establishes that exclusion or restriction is necessary to ensure the health and safety of the infected individual and/or other members of the university community. Quarantine and isolation measures may be taken for individuals who reside in campus housing and cannot be quarantined or isolated off-campus or at their permanent residence.

7. Individual Must be Medically Cleared Upon Resolution of Symptoms

Students must be medically cleared upon resolution of symptoms to return to classes or other university access by the Medical Director in cooperation with county health officials, where appropriate.

Human Resources may require employees to provide a medical release from his/her health care provider prior to resuming duties.

*For COVID-19 Employees must be medically cleared by a healthcare professional.

8. Disclosure Shall Be Treated By Recipient As Confidential

Appropriate confidentiality shall be maintained and the name of the individual with a communicable disease is only disclosed on a need to know basis in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and university policy.

9. Responsible Vice President will Provide Essential Information and Resources to Campus Community

The responsible Vice President will disseminate accurate and objective educational information on the communicable disease to the campus community. The Medical Director will serve as the official spokesperson for the university regarding all communicable disease policy-related decisions.

The Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services (or designee) will make appropriate clinical services available for students where possible (including testing and counseling) and will make referrals as necessary to other health-care agencies. In some circumstances, the Student Health Center may provide limited clinical services, testing or vaccinations to faculty and staff if warranted. The responsible Vice President (or designee) will make resources available to concerned members of the university community who are in need of emotional and/or social support.

10. Division of Enrollment and Student Services Provides Annual Reminder

On an annual basis, the Division of Enrollment and Student Services will inform students and employees of this policy. Extended Education will inform clients in their programs of their responsibilities on the client agreement form.

Policy Information

Cancels:

Display all cancelled content
  • POL-U7400.03 Protecting the University Community from SARS
  • POL-U7400.04 Pandemic Influenza Response Policy