It is the policy of the Tucson Unified School District to take reasonable and lawful measures to protect students and staff members from the transmission of communicable diseases. The District also has the responsibility to uphold the rights of affected individuals to privacy and confidentiality, to continue their employment, and to be treated in a nondiscriminatory manner.
Exclusion from School
A staff member who has a communicable disease shall be excluded from school only if the staff member presents a direct threat to the health or safety of others in the school workplace. The outbreak control measures and other directives of the Department of Health Services (DHS) and local health agencies shall be acted upon as the best medical knowledge and judgments with regard to the exclusion of a staff member who has a communicable disease that is addressed by DHS regulations. The communicable diseases specifically addressed by DHS regulations are listed at A.A.C. R9-6-301 et seq.
A staff member who has a chronic communicable disease, such as tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS, shall not be excluded unless a significant risk is presented to the health and safety of others which cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation. The Superintendent shall consult with legal counsel and health professionals, as necessary, to ensure that exclusion of a staff member with a chronic communicable disease will not violate the staff member's rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
The District requires a physician's written medical release as a condition for the staff member's return to work following an absence due to a communicable disease.
Reporting and Notification
The District shall report to its local health agency each diagnosed and suspected case of a communicable disease that must be reported under state or local law. Disease outbreaks (10% per classroom; per site or per enrollment) that the District must report by telephone within twenty-four (24) hours, pursuant to A.A.C. R9-6-202(C), are:
Outbreaks of pediculosis (lice infestation) also must be reported, pursuant to A.A.C. R9-6-342.
If an outbreak of a communicable disease occurs in a school setting, the Superintendent shall promptly inform staff members and students who are known to have special vulnerability to infection. The District does not assume any duty to notify an employee of health risks caused by the presence of a communicable disease in the school setting unless the at-risk employee has notified the District of the conditions when notification is needed.
The District shall make reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality of staff members' medical conditions. All medical information relating to employees is confidential. The identity of a staff member who has a communicable disease and/or the nature of the communicable disease may be disclosed only to:
Inquiries or concerns by staff members or others regarding communicable diseases or a staff member who is known or believed to have a communicable disease shall be directed to the Superintendent.
The Superintendent shall have procedures for complying with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), including an exposure-control plan, methods of compliance, work-practice controls, post exposure evaluation and follow-up and administering vaccine to employees exposed to Hepatitis B virus.
Any employee who as a result of his/her employment has significant blood or bodily fluid exposure is required to complete the Exposure Report Form and send it to Risk Management. The employee may be required to follow post-exposure evaluation and follow-up activities as directed by a physician and in accordance with Arizona and federal laws. An employee who chooses not to complete these reporting requirements will be at risk of losing any claim to rights.
Food Service Workers
The District shall follow the guidance of the U.S. Department of Health Services concerning infectious and communicable diseases transmitted through the handling of food, and the special precautions required for food services workers.
Current medical information indicates that HIV can be transmitted by sexual intercourse with an infected partner, by injection of infected blood products, and by transmission from an infected mother to her child in utero or during the birth process. None of the identified cases of HIV infection in the United States are known to have been transmitted in a school setting or through any other casual person-to-person contact. There is no evidence that HIV is spread by sneezing, coughing, shaking hands, hugging, or sharing toilets, food, water, or utensils. According to best medical knowledge and judgments, the use of the "universal precautions" and other procedures that implement this policy are sufficient to protect staff members and students from transmission of HIV at school.
Adopted: August 10, 2004
Updated: December 17, 2004 [To Board in Friday Report]
LEGAL REF.: A.R.S. 36-621
A.A.C. R9-6-202 et seq. (Reporting and Control Measures for
29 U.S.C. 794 et seq. (Sec. 504 of the Rehabilitation Act)
42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. (Americans with Disabilities Act)
29 C.F.R. 1630 (ADA guidelines)
29 C.F.R. 1910.10 (OSHA Universal Precautions Standard)
Cross Ref: JLCC – Communicable Disease - Students
Replaces TUSD Regulation #4030 – Physical Fitness Administrative Regulation.