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Communicable Disease (Policy 9270)

University Policy 9270

Download a Printable Version of Policy 9270


Effective Date

August 21, 2020

Responsible Party

Public Health Office, (208) 426-2968
Environmental Health, Safety and Sustainability, (208) 426-3906
University Health Services, (208) 426-1459

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to all Members of the University Community.

Additional Authority

  • Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • IDAPA 16.02.10
  • University Policy 2020 (Student Code of Conduct)
  • University Policy 9140 (Environmental Health and Safety)
  • University Policy 12020 (Exclusion from Campus)

1. Policy Purpose

To establish responsibilities and guidelines for the effective management and prevention of Communicable Diseases affecting the University community.

2. Policy Statement

Boise State University is committed to providing a safe working, learning, and living environment for all Members of the University Community by preventing and/or minimizing the spread of Communicable Diseases. The University adheres to the guidance of Public Health Officials to prevent and/or minimize the transmission of Communicable Diseases.

3. Definitions

3.1 Communicable Disease

An infectious disease that is spread from person-to-person. Communicable Diseases that may significantly threaten the health and safety of the University community and are reportable to the Public Health Office include, but are not limited to:

  • Cholera
  • COVID-19
  • Diphtheria
  • Hepatitis A
  • Meningitis (viral and bacterial)
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis
  • Rubella
  • Rubeola
  • Smallpox
  • Tuberculosis

Other less infectious Communicable Diseases not reportable to the Public Health Office but in which an individual should consult with their Healthcare Provider include, but are not limited to:

  • Influenza
  • Mononucleosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infections
  • Norovirus
  • Sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Varicella (chicken pox)

3.2 Contact Tracing

A process that involves identifying an individual who has a Communicable Disease (case) and their exposed contacts, then working with those individuals to interrupt disease transmission.

3.3 Epidemic

The occurrence of more cases of disease than expected in a given area or among a specific group of individuals over a particular period of time.

3.4 Exposure

The mechanism and timing connected to person-to-person spread of a Communicable Disease.

For purposes of COVID-19, Exposure is defined as:

Close Contact with someone who has COVID-19, excluding those individuals who have had COVID-19 within the past three (3) months.

3.5 Close Contact

When an individual has:

  • Been within six  (6) feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of fifteen (15) minutes or more
  • Provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • Had direct physical contact with someone (hugged or kissed them) who has COVID-19
  • Shared eating or drinking utensils with someone who has COVID-19
  • Sneezed, coughed, or somehow gotten respiratory droplets on them from someone who has COVID-19

3.6 Facial Covering

Reusable, clean covering or single-use disposable covering that covers the nose and mouth and which is closed at the bottom.

3.7 Healthcare Provider

A licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant.

3.8 Isolate/Isolation or Quarantine

Sequestration of an individual from contact with the University community to prevent the spread of a Communicable Disease. Isolation or Quarantine will be utilized on a case-by-case basis after consultation with Healthcare Providers, the Executive Director of University Health Services, the Public Health Officer, Public Health Officials, and other medical specialists, if necessary.

3.9 Members of the University Community

For purposes of this policy, all University employees, students, volunteers, visitors, and any individual who comes to campus for any purpose.

3.10 Outbreak

The sudden rise in the incidence of a disease in a defined geographic area.

3.11 Pandemic

An extensive Epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents or the world, usually affecting a large number of people.

3.12 Physical Distancing

A public health practice used to prevent the community spread of a Communicable Disease.

For purposes of COVID-19, Physical Distancing (also known as Social Distancing) is staying at least six (6) feet (at least 2 arms’ length) from other individuals who are not in the same household in both indoor and outdoor spaces to minimize the transmission of infection.

3.13 Public Health Officials

Local, regional, state, and national or federal health departments and agencies, such as Central District Health, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

4. Responsibilities and Procedures

4.1 University Responsibilities

a. The University will maintain all medical records and patient information in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), when required, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The confidentiality of individuals with a Communicable Disease will be maintained except when disclosure is necessary and authorized under Idaho law.

b. The University will notify public health officials of any disease on the Idaho Reportable Disease List as set forth in IDAPA 16.02.10.

c. The University shall not unlawfully discriminate in policy or practice, including in admissions and employment, against individuals who have or are considered to be at risk for a Communicable Disease.

4.1.1 Communication and Outreach

a. The University will develop and maintain a communication plan and any needed educational programs and outreach efforts once a Communicable Disease threat has been identified.

b. All educational programs and outreach efforts will utilize the most current medical and scientific information available and will address both contagion information and prevention measures such as vaccinations.

c. The communication plan will address campus mandates based on the most current information available which all Members of the University Community are required to follow to ensure the health and safety of the entire campus community. Where required, emergency notifications for Communicable Disease Outbreaks will be issued pursuant to University Policy 12110 (Emergency Notification).

4.1.2 Testing and Medical Care Resources

a. The University will identify community and/or University locations for Communicable Disease testing or related services for students and employees.

b. The University will identify sources of qualified medical providers and will encourage individuals with a Communicable Disease to utilize such sources.

4.2 Student and Employee Responsibilities

Students, faculty, and other employees must adhere to the following health and safety responsibilities:

a. Any student, faculty, or other employee with a confirmed Communicable Disease that is reportable to the Public Health Office under Section 3.1 must report that information to the Public Health Office. A faculty who is made aware that a student has a Communicable Disease should refer the student to the Public Health Office. A supervisor who is made aware that an employee has a Communicable Disease should refer the employee to the Public Health Office.

b. Follow all interim safety measures and guidance issued by the University, absent medical inability, to stop or slow the progression of a Communicable Disease which may include but is not limited to:

  • Physical Distancing, when required
  • Wearing a Facial Covering, when required
  • Submitting to screening, when required
  • Isolating or Quarantining, when required
  • Assisting with cleaning and disinfection work, classroom, study, or recreation space, when required

Faculty and other employees unable to comply with any recommended safety measures due to a medical condition should seek a reasonable accommodation through Human Resources. Students should seek reasonable accommodations through the Educational Access Center.

c. Obtain advice from a Healthcare Provider if known or suspected to have a Communicable Disease and, if indicated, to obtain follow-up treatment.

d. Cease normal activities on campus (other than for purposes of seeking medical treatment), when required, following Public Health Official guidelines if diagnosed with a Communicable Disease.

e. Cooperate with requests by the local public health district and the Public Health Office for Contact Tracing or investigation.

4.3 Executive Director of University Health Services (Executive Director) and/or Public Health Office Responsibilities

a. The Executive Director and/or the Public Health Office are responsible for tracking Epidemics, Pandemics, and Outbreaks of significant Communicable Diseases.

b. The Executive Director and/or the Public Health Office are the University leads on all health matters, including Communicable Diseases which are related to faculty, other employees, and students.

c. The Executive Director and/or the Public Health Office will initiate an investigation after receiving a report of a potential Communicable Disease to determine the validity of the information. If the report is verified, and it is determined that the Communicable Disease poses a serious threat to the health and safety of the University community, the Executive Director and/or the Public Health Office will convey the necessary information to the President.

d. The Executive Director and/or the Public Health Office will notify and work with the local public health district to provide appropriate diagnostic, prophylactic, and therapeutic measures for the affected individual(s) and for the health and safety of the University community.

4.4 Procedures

During a Communicable Disease Outbreak, or notification of a rise in cases of a Communicable Disease within the campus or surrounding community, any of the following may occur:

a. Closing of one or more buildings, programs, or services of the University by order of the Governor.

b. Closing of one or more buildings, programs, or services of the University by the President, or designee, in consultation with the Executive Director, the Public Health Office, and/or Public Health Officials.

c. Concurrence by Public Health Officials and/or the Public Health Office that an employee(s) should be excluded from the workplace.

d. Isolation of an ill or symptomatic student or employee, or Quarantine of an exposed or potentially ill student or employee, by the Public Health Office or Public Health Officials.

e. The Executive Director and/or the Public Health Office may institute such orders as necessary and recommended by Public Health Officials to slow or stop the progression of a Communicable Disease, including but not limited to requiring Members of the University Community to observe all health and safety requirements on campus, which may include restricting an individual from attending University-sanctioned functions, restricting entry to campus residential and food service areas, etc.

4.4.1 Managing a Student with a Communicable Disease

a. University Health Services and/or the Public Health Office will notify the Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management when a student is known or suspected to have a Communicable Disease.

b. University Health Services may examine, test, or consult with a student suspected of having a Communicable Disease and may determine appropriate medical care. The Executive Director and/or the Public Health Office will work with Public Health Officials as necessary to acquire a list of possible persons at risk for that Communicable Disease.

c. A student who is known or suspected to have a Communicable Disease may be subject to certain limitations, which may include restricting the student from attending face-to-face classes, obtaining meals in dining facilities, and reassigning the student to another University residential facility.

d. The Executive Director, in consultation with the Public Health Office, will determine if the student should be excluded from campus, Isolated, Quarantined, returned home, sheltered in place on campus, or transferred to the hospital.

e. The Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management will coordinate any services needed for a student who is sheltered in place while maintaining confidentiality to the extent possible. The University President, or designee, will be informed of the matter and will determine if any information should be released publicly.

f. The Medical Director and/or the Public Health Office will provide guidance for when a student can be discharged from Isolation or Quarantine and returned to normal activity.

g. A student restricted from face-to-face classes or any other campus activity must be released for normal activity by the Public Health Office.

4.4.2 Managing an Employee with a Communicable Disease

An employee may be excluded from normal campus activities, including reporting to the workplace, following Public Health Official guidelines. The employee must not return to normal campus activities or the workplace until cleared to return by the Public Health Office. The employee may be granted leave in accordance with the University’s leave policies.

4.5 Enforcement and Violations

a. Training and education related to this policy are the responsibility of the entire campus community.

b. The University cannot practically monitor all interactions among Members of the University Community. While the University places priority on educating individuals of their responsibilities under this policy, the University may sanction students or discipline employees who knowingly put others at risk by failing to disclose that they are infected with a Communicable Disease in which reporting is required or who do not follow interim safety measures and guidance issued by the University required to help slow or stop the progression of a Communicable Disease.

c. Violations may result in:

  • Removal from face-to-face classes
  • Cancellation or modification of University residential facility arrangements
  • Exclusion from campus under University Policy 12020 (Exclusion from Campus)
  • Referral to the Office of the Dean of Students for student violations, which may result in action under the Student Code of Conduct (University Policy 2020)
  • Referral to the Provost’s Office for faculty or Human Resources for other employee violations, which may result in discipline, up to and including dismissal from employment.

d. To report a violation of this policy, contact the Public Health Office at 208-426-2968 or publichealth@boisestate.edu or the Department of Public Safety at publicsafety@boisestate.edu or call (208) 426-6911.

5. Forms

EthicsPoint – The University’s third party ethics and compliance reporting website
https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/media/en/gui/37887/index.html

Student Conduct Report Form
https://www.boisestate.edu/deanofstudents/student-conduct-report-form/