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Communicable Diseases (Policy)

Office of Origin: Human Resources
Responsibility: Executive Director, Human Resources
Date Adopted: 05-28-91
Dates Reviewed: 06-26-2018, 12/15/21(C)
Last Date Board Approved: 3/29/22

The College is committed to preventing and/or minimizing the transmission of Communicable Diseases that may pose serious health risks for the College community.  

“Communicable Diseases” are defined as an illness due to a specific infectious agent or its toxic products that results from transmission of that infectious agent or its products from a reservoir to a susceptible host, directly as from an infected individual or animal, or indirectly through the agency of an intermediate plant or animal host, vector, or the inanimate environment, as set forth in Michigan Public Health Code (Act 368 of 1978 as amended), defined further in Section 333.5101 and Michigan Communicable Disease Rules R325.171e.

In the event that an employee or student contracts a communicable disease, it is the intent of the College to strike a balance between the right of that employee or student to continued employment or education and the right of other employees and students to be free from the risk of exposure to Communicable Diseases that may affect their health, safety, and/or welfare.  

Employee Responsibilities

  • When an employee becomes aware that they have been exposed to a Communicable Disease, or that there is someone employed by or attending the College who has a Communicable Disease, the employee must immediately report this to the Executive Director, Human Resources (“HR”) if an employee or the Vice President, Student Affairs (or designee), if a student. 
  • Employees must follow all College safety measures, procedures, and guidance, unless medically unable, to stop or slow the progression of a Communicable Disease. Employees unable to comply with any safety measure due to a medical condition must seek a reasonable accommodation through HR.
  • Employees must remain off campus, when required, following College guidance or healthcare provider guidance if diagnosed with a Communicable Disease.

The College cannot practically monitor all interactions within the College community. While the College places priority on educating individuals of their responsibilities under this policy, the College may discipline employees who knowingly put others at risk by failing to disclose that they are infected with a Communicable Disease for which reporting is required or who do not follow College safety policies, measures, or procedures. Discipline may be up to and including dismissal from employment.

College Responsibilities

  • Employee confidentiality and privacy rights will be respected. 
  • The College generally seeks to adhere to the guidance of public health officials to prevent and minimize the transmission of Communicable Diseases. Public health officials include local, regional, state, and national health departments and agencies, such as county health departments (e.g., Berrien, Cass, Van Buren), the Michigan Department of Health & Welfare, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and the US Department of Health & Human Services.
  • The College is responsible for tracking epidemics, pandemics, and outbreaks of significant Communicable Diseases.
  • The Executive Director, HR and the Executive Director, Facilities will act as the Safety Team Co-Chairs, and serve as an advisory committee to review and recommend courses of action to the President and President’s Cabinet.
  • The Executive Director, HR will investigate reports of a Communicable Disease on campus; if the report is verified, the Executive Director, HR will report the information to the Executive Director, Facilities, and the President.
  • If required, the Executive Director, HR will report the Communicable Disease to the appropriate health department in compliance with Michigan Public Health Code Section 333.5111 and Michigan Communicable Disease Rules R325.171 et al. based on recommendations from the Health Department, the College will take appropriate action.
  • If the College receives information from its health department about a Communicable Disease that poses a health threat to employees or students, HR will provide information, as recommended by the health department, to all employees. 
  • The College will develop and maintain a communication plan and any needed educational programs and outreach efforts once a Communicable Disease threat has been identified.

Michigan Communicable Disease Rules R325.171 et al 
Michigan Public Health Code (Act 368 of 1978, as amended) 
Michigan Department of Community Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, Communicable & Related Diseases


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