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Policy 3414P

Infectious Diseases

An infectious disease is caused by the presence of certain microorganisms in the body. Infectious diseases may or may not be communicable or in a contagious state.

The District may control contagious diseases by excluding the infected student from the classroom or by referring the student for medical attention. Staff members must advise the school nurse and principal or designee when a student exhibits symptoms of an infectious disease based on the criteria outlined in this procedure. The principal or designee must be provided with as much health information about the case in a timely manner so that appropriate action can be initiated. (See Infectious Disease Control Guide for School Staff on the OSPI website.)

Reportable Diseases

In consultation with the school nurse, the District will report suspected disease, or disease with a known diagnosis, to the local health department.

Cluster of Cases

The occurrence of any generalized rash (covering greater than 75% of the body) with or without fever, cough, runny nose, and reddened eyes in a school MUST be reported by the school nurse IMMEDIATELY to the local health department. Localized rash cases such as diaper rash, poison oak, etc., need not be reported. In addition to rashes, any unusual cluster of infectious disease must be reported to the school nurse.

Identification And Follow-Up

  • The directions given in the Infectious Disease Control Guide, or instructions provided by the health care provider or local health officer determine the length of absence from school for a student ill from a contagious disease.
  • The principal has the final responsibility for enforcing all exclusions.
  • Follow-up of suspected communicable disease cases should be carried out in order to determine any action necessary to prevent the spread of the disease to additional children or staff.

Reporting At Building Level

The school nurse, school principal or designee to the local health officer will report a student with a diagnosed reportable disease.

When symptoms of communicable disease are detected in a student who is at school, the regular procedure for the disposition of ill or injured students shall be followed unless the student is fourteen years or older and the symptoms indicate a sexually transmitted disease.  In those instances, the student has confidentiality rights that prohibit notification of anyone but the health department. In all other instances, the principal or designee will:

  1. Call the parent/guardian or emergency phone number to advise him/her of the signs and symptoms;
  2. Determine when the parent/guardian will pick up the student;
  3. Keep the student isolated, but observed, until the parent/guardian arrives;
  4. Notify the teacher of the arrangements that have been made prior to removing the student from school.
  5. Notify the school nurse to ensure appropriate health-related interventions are in place.

First Aid Procedures

Students should be asked to wash their own minor wound areas with soap and water under staff guidance when practicable.  If performed by staff, wound cleansing should be conducted in the following manner:

  1. Soap and water are recommended for washing wounds. Individual packets with cleansing solutions or saline can also be used;
  2. Gloves must be worn when cleansing wounds or when contact with any bodily fluids is possible.;
  3. Gloves and any cleansing materials will be discarded in a lined trash container that is disposed of daily according to WAC 296-823-Occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens and included in the most recent OSPI Infectious Disease Control Guide.
  4. Hands must be washed before and after treating the student and after removing the gloves.
  5. Treatment must be documented in a health log.

Thermometers shall be handled in the following manner:

  1. Only disposable thermometers, non-mercury thermometers with disposable sheath covers or temporal scan thermometers should be used when taking student’s temperatures.
  2. Disposable sheath covers will be discarded in a lined trash container that is secured and disposed of daily. Temporal scan thermometers will be disinfected after each use.

Handling Of Body Fluids

Any body fluids of all persons should be considered to contain potentially infectious agents (germs). Gloves must be worn when direct hand contact with body fluids is anticipated (e.g., treating nose bleeds), when handling clothes soiled by bodily fluids, when diapering children and when sanitizing space used for diapering children. Hand washing is the most important intervention for preventing the spread of disease and must take place after gloves are removed and between care of multiple students.

Used gloves must be discarded in a secured lined trash container and disposed of daily. Hands must then be washed thoroughly.

Self-treatment of minor injury, when reasonable, shall be encouraged.

Sharps will be disposed of in an approved container. Sharps containers must be maintained upright throughout use, be tamper-proof, safely out of students’ reach, not allowed to overfill and replaced routinely.

General cleaning procedures will include a 10% bleach solution to kill norovirus and C Difficile spores.

For other universal precautions, the District shall comply with WAC 296-823, Blood-borne Pathogens and the OSPI Infectious Disease Control Guideline.

Treatment Of Students Infected With Chronic Medical Conditions (e.g.,  HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis)

On the disclosure that a student has been identified as being infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or infectious Hepatitis, the superintendent, principal, parent/guardian, local health officer, school nurse and the student’s licensed healthcare provider  will confer as necessary to determine the appropriate placement of the student. The student will be accommodated in a least restrictive manner, free of discrimination, without endangering other students or staff. The student may only be excluded from school on the written concurrence of the public health officer and the student’s licensed healthcare provider, that remaining or returning to school would constitute a risk either to the student or to employees or other students.

All discussions and records will be treated as confidential, consistent with RCW 70.24.105.

Release of information regarding the testing, test result, diagnosis or treatment of a student for a sexually transmitted disease, HIV, drug, alcohol, mental health treatment, family planning or abortion may only be made pursuant to an effective release and only to the degree permitted by the release. To be effective, a release must be signed, dated, must specify to whom the release may be made, and the time period for which the release is effective. Students fourteen and older must authorize disclosure regarding HIV, sexually transmitted diseases or reproductive healthcare issues. Students thirteen and older must authorize disclosure regarding drug, alcohol or mental health treatment. Students of any age must authorize disclosure regarding family planning or abortion. Parents/guardians must authorize disclosure pertaining to younger students.

Any disclosure made pursuant to a release regarding reproductive healthcare including sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, drug or alcohol treatment must be accompanied by the following statement:

“This information has been disclosed to you from records whose confidentiality is protected by state law. State law prohibits you from making any further disclosure of it without the specific written consent of the person to whom it pertains, or as otherwise permitted by state law. A general authorization for the release of medical or other information is not sufficient for this purpose.”

The District will ensure that newly hired school District employees receive the HIV/AIDS training regarding:

  • History and epidemiology of HIV/AIDS;
  • Methods of transmission of HIV;
  • Methods of prevention of HIV, including universal precautions for handling of bodily fluids;
  • Current treatment for symptoms of AIDS and prognosis of disease progression;
  • State and federal laws governing discrimination of persons with HIV/AIDS; and
  • State and federal laws regulating confidentiality of a person’s HIV antibody status.

The District will ensure that new employees receive training within six months from the first day of employment in the District.

Continuing employees will receive information, within one year of District receipt from OSPI, on new discoveries or changes in accepted knowledge of transmission, prevention and treatment for HIV/AIDS.


Adopted Date: March 27th, 2007; Revised: December 18, 2018