Northwest College

Policies and Procedures

Communicable Disease Statement

Northwest College is committed to providing a healthful environment for all students and employees. In fulfilling that commitment, the institution shall continue to seek the guidance of appropriate medical, legal, and governmental authorities when addressing concerns and issues of communicable diseases.

Communicable diseases include, but are not limited to, measles, influenza, avian flu, viral hepatitis-A (infectious hepatitis), viral hepatitis-B (serum hepatitis), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV infection), sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis. For the purposes of this policy, the term “HIV infection” shall include AIDS-Related Complex (ARC), and a positive test for the antibody to human immunodeficiency virus.

The college’s decisions involving persons who have communicable diseases shall be based on current and well-informed medical judgments concerning the disease, the risks of transmitting the illness to others, the symptoms and special circumstances of each individual who has a communicable disease, and a careful weighing of the identified risks and the available alternatives for responding to a student or employee with a communicable disease.

The college shall not discriminate in employment or enrollment against any employee or student solely on the ground that the employee or student has a communicable disease. Any person shall not be denied access to the college facilities or campus activities solely on the ground that they have a communicable disease. The college reserves the right to exclude any person with a communicable disease from college facilities, programs, and functions if the college determines that the restriction is necessary for the welfare of the person who has the communicable disease and/or the welfare of the other members of the college’s community.

The college shall comply with all pertinent statutes and regulations which protect the privacy of persons in the college community who have a communicable disease. The college shall ensure that procedural safeguards sufficient to maintain the strictest confidence about persons who have HIV infection are in effect in all offices of the college.

A campus communicable disease task force shall gather the latest information and develop and maintain a comprehensive education program about HIV infection for members of the college community. The program shall address, among other things, current medical opinions about the nature of HIV infection and its symptoms, methods of transmission, types of behavior which increase the risk of transmission of the disease, and preventive measures for avoiding infection by the HIV virus.

The following outlines how individually identified cases of communicable diseases will be evaluated and handled.

  1. Case Evaluations
    1. The Vice President for Administrative Services (for staff), Vice President for Academic Affairs (for faculty) or the Vice President for Student Services (for students) may require a medical release from a physician if an employee or student is suspected of having a communicable disease.
    2. Each case of a communicable disease will be evaluated individually by the person’s private physician.
    3. Class or work attendance will not be limited as long as the person’s attending physician determines that he or she is physically able to continue attendance and does not pose an active threat to other students and employees.
    4. Recommendations concerning continued enrollment of students or employment of employees may be made by a qualified physician to the president of the college.
    5. Appeals will be governed by the formal grievance procedure.
    6. All inquiries from the media will be referred to the Vice President for College Relations.