Healthcare and Emergencies Policy

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All Personnel
OP 4119.42.01/4219.01/4319.01(a)
HEALTH CARE AND EMERGENCIES
It is the intent of the County Superintendent to provide a safe environment for employees and
students and to make every effort to anticipate and prepare for the health care needs and
emergency situations that may occur in County Office worksites and classrooms.
Definitions
Contact: A contact is a term used to refer to someone who has been in close proximity with
an individual who is, or is suspected of being, infected with an infectious disease like
influenza.
Contagious disease: A disease spread by contact or close proximity.
Hand hygiene: Hand hygiene is a term that applies to the cleaning of ones hands to prevent to
spread of disease.
Human-to-human transmission: Human-to-human transmission refers to the ability of an
infectious disease to be passed continuously from one person to another. Some viruses can be
transmitted between animals (animal-to-animal), some can be transmitted from animal-tohuman (and vice versa), and some can be transmitted from human-to-human.
Infection control: Infection control is broad term used to describe a number of measures
designed to detect, prevent, and contain the spread of infectious disease. Some measures
include hand washing, respiratory etiquette, use of personal protective equipment (PPE),
prophylaxis, isolation, and quarantine.
Infectious disease: An infectious disease, or communicable disease, is caused by the entrance
of organisms (e.g. viruses, bacteria, fungi) into the body that grow and multiply there to
cause illness. Infectious diseases can be transmitted, or passed, by direct contact with an
infected individual, their discharges (e.g. breath), or with an item touched by them.
Influenza: Influenza is a viral disease that causes high fever, sore through, cough, and muscle
aches. It usually affects the respiratory system but sometimes affects other organs. Influenza
is spread by infectious droplets that are coughed or sneezed into the air. These droplets can
land on the mucous membranes of the eyes or mouth or be inhaled into the lungs of another
person. Infection can also occur from contact with surfaces contaminated with infectious
droplets and respiratory secretions. Also see seasonal, avian, and pandemic influenza.
Isolation: Isolation is when sick people are asked to remain in one place (e.g. home,
hospital), away from the public, until they are no longer infectious.
Pandemic influenza: A pandemic influenza or pandemic flu, occurs when a new subtype of
influenza virus: 1) develops and there is little or no immunity (protection due to previous
infection or vaccination) in the human population; 2) it is easily passed from human to
human; 3) is found in many countries; and, 4) causes serious illness in humans. Also see
influenza, seasonal influenza, and avian influenza.
OP 4119.42.01/4219.01/4319.01(b)
HEALTH CARE AND EMERGENCIES (continued)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): PPE is specialized clothing or equipment worn to
protect someone against a hazard including an infectious disease. It can range from a mask or
a pair of gloves to a combination of gear that might cover some or all of the body.
Prophylaxis: Prophylaxis is an infection control measure whereby antimicrobial, including
antiviral, medications are taken by a healthy individual (e.g. nurse, contact) to prevent illness
before or after being exposed to an individual with an infectious disease (e.g. influenza).
Quarantine: A quarantine is when people who have been in close proximity to an infected
person, but appear healthy, are asked to remain in one place, away from the general public,
until it can be determined that they have not been infected.
Respiratory etiquette: Respiratory etiquette, or good coughing and sneezing manners, is one
way of minimizing the spread of viruses which are passed from human-to-human in the tiny
droplets of moisture that come out of the nose or mouth when coughing, sneezing, or talking.
Healthy and sick people should cover their nose and mouth when sneezing, coughing, or
blowing their nose and then put the used tissue in the trash to prevent the spread of germs.
Seasonal influenza: Seasonal influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an infectious
disease. In the United States, flu season usually occurs between December and March. The
influenza virus is one that has the ability to change easily; however, there is usually enough
similarity in the virus from one year to the next that the general population is partially
immune from previous infection or vaccination. Each year experts monitor the influenza
virus and create a new vaccine to address changes in the virus. For this reason people are
encouraged to get a flu shot each year. Also see influenza, avian influenza, and pandemic
influenza.
Social distancing: Social distancing is an infection control strategy that includes methods of
reducing the frequency and closeness of contact between people to limit the spread of
infectious diseases. Generally, social distancing refers to the avoidance of gatherings with
many people.
Infectious Diseases and Prevention
1.
Employees of the County Office have responsibility for taking necessary steps to
protect the health of all employees and students and upholding privacy policies.
2.
The County Superintendent assigns responsibility to assistant superintendents for
developing procedures and in-service programs which minimize student and staff
exposure to infectious and communicable diseases.
3.
County Office employees shall not be required to travel for work during a Travel
Advisory issued by the Center for Disease Control or the Public Health Department.
OP 4119.42.01/4219.01/4319.01(c)
HEALTH CARE AND EMERGENCIES (continued)
Exclusion from Work for Health & Safety Reasons
The County Superintendent expects employees to work cooperatively with local health
agencies in the prevention and control of communicable diseases. In order to protect students
and employees from communicable disease, no employee shall be allowed to work in a
County Office program who is known to have, or suspected of having, a contagious or
infectious disease if that employee’s presence would pose a hazard to the safety and welfare
of other employees or students.
Any of the following are authorized to make a determination that an employee’s presence
poses a hazard to the safety and welfare of other employees or students:
•
County Public Health Officer
•
Superintendent of Schools, or designee
•
Emergency Command Officer
•
County Office First Aid Team Leader, or Alternate
•
Department Head or Program Manager
•
The employee’s treating physician
An employee shall be required to go home or seek medical care if they are suffering from an
active contagious or infectious disease that poses an immediate threat to the health and safety
of other employees. The County Superintendent recognizes that there may be cases where the
exclusion of an employee may be necessary because her/his presence in the work setting
presents a danger to, or could compromise, the life, safety or health of other employees or
students.
Exclusion from work may be applied to employees who fall into the following categories:
1.
Employees whose physical or mental condition is such as to prevent or make
inadvisable attendance at work as determined by a health care provider, public health
officer or a SCOE manager
2.
Any employee suffering from contagious or infectious diseases with a temperature of
100 degrees or more, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or other evidence of a
serious medical condition
3.
Any employee who resides where any contagious, infectious or communicable
disease exists, or has existed, which is subject to quarantine by the public health
officer
4.
Any employee who is exempt from immunization or who is inadequately immunized
against a certain disease may be excluded from the work place if an outbreak of a
specific communicable disease occurs.
OP 4119.42.01/4219.01/4319.01(d)
HEALTH CARE AND EMERGENCIES (continued)
In such instances, before returning to work, the employee shall be required to submit a
written statement from a licensed medical practitioner, or in the case of a pandemic from the
Public health Officer, verifying that the employee is under treatment and/or is not contagious
to others.
An employee who is cleared by his/her medical provider or the Public Health Officer to
resume his/her job duties, but who is not yet cleared to return to work, may request to be
allowed to perform some job duties through telecommuting. Such requests will be reviewed
on a case-by-case basis.
SONOMA COUNTY OFFICE OF EDUCATION
Policy Reference: SP 4119.42/4219.42/4319.42, Exposure Control Plan Blood-borne
Pathogens.
Procedure approved: February 4, 2014
(4550.01)
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