Administrative Procedure 161
The Division expects responsible and compassionate treatment of students and employees with a communicable disease and supports information and prevention programs for communicable disease prevention.
Blood Borne Disease:
is a disease transmitted by blood or body fluids (HIV, Hepatitis B, etc.)
is a disease that is transmitted through direct or indirect contact with an infected person, animal, or the environment. Also known as a contagious disease.
is when greater than 10 per cent the students and staff are absent due to illness (for example, influenza) or there is a significant increase in the number of staff/students becoming ill due to a specific communicable disease or condition (for example, chickenpox, mumps, etc.)
is a disease controlled or monitored under the Communicable Disease Regulation, Public Health Act and must be reported to Public Health Officials.
is an infectious disease that is spreading through human populations across a wide geographic region.
are a standard set of procedures including use of protective equipment designed to prevent transmission of blood borne diseases.
- Students or employees with communicable diseases shall be allowed to continue normal classes or employment duties unless:
- If in the opinion of the Medical Officer of Health there are special circumstances or regulations which necessitate restriction (e.g., pandemics).
- It is a bona fide occupational requirement of a job of the employee that the employee be free from any communicable disease.
- Students and employees with communicable diseases shall be managed in accordance with the Public Health and Occupational Health and Safety Acts and regulations and the advice of Alberta Health Services.
- In each case, the risks and benefits to both the infected student or the employee and others in the learning/working environment shall be considered.
- The privacy of an individual must be respected and any records of communicable diseases of students and employees kept shall be strictly confidential.
- The number of people who are aware of the individual’s condition shall be kept at the minimum needed to assure proper care and to prevent situations where the potential for transmission may occur.
- Decisions regarding the type of care and educational setting for students infected with a communicable disease shall be based on the behaviour, neurological development, and physical condition of the child and the expected type of interaction with others in the setting. Decisions shall be made using a team approach which includes the child’s health care provider, parent/guardian, the principal, and staff immediately associated with the care and education of the child.
- Procedures for dealing with employees who may be exposed to or become infected with a communicable disease will be consistent with Public Health and Occupational Health and Safety requirements and best practices.
- If, in the opinion of the attending physician, an infected employee is no longer capable of working, the matter will be dealt with in the same way as other illnesses that impair an employee's capacity to work.
- Principals/directors shall ensure that all employees and students receive age-appropriate information about the prevention and control of communicable diseases that includes proper hand washing and cough/sneeze etiquette.
- Students and employees with diseases that can be transmissible in school and/or athletic settings (such as, but not limited to chicken pox, influenza, pink eye) shall be managed in accordance with Alberta Health Services guidelines. Head lice and bed bugs are not considered communicable diseases but shall be managed according to Division and public health protocols.
- Employees shall treat all blood and body fluids as potentially infectious.
- All employees shall follow universal precautions when handling blood and body fluids to prevent exposure to blood borne diseases. Principals/directors shall provide the necessary training, equipment, and supplies to implement universal precautions.
- Staff who have frequent contact with blood or work with higher-risk populations such as children with biting behaviours or known carriers of a blood borne disease shall be eligible to receive the hepatitis B vaccine paid for by the Division.
- All potential blood exposures including bites and needle sticks shall be promptly reported on the Occupational or Student Incident / Injury Report as applicable. Employees shall seek same day medical attention for all potential blood exposures (e.g., bites that break the skin).
- Diseases that may have an impact on pregnant employees (e.g., fifths disease) or persons with compromised immune systems shall be promptly reported to the OHS Specialist, Human Resources.
- Letters or information on communicable diseases for employees and parents/guardians will be distributed only as necessary in consultation with the Principal, Communication Services, the Occupational Health and Safety Specialist, and Alberta Health Services.
- In the event of an illness outbreak, the Principal shall report the outbreak to Alberta Health Services and the Division Principal.
- The Division Principal will notify the Facility Service Centre, OHS Specialist and the Director of Communication Services to mobilize additional support for the school.
- Facility Services, OHS and Student Transportation will work with Alberta Health Services and custodial/bus contractors to review cleaning/disinfection protocols, ensure adequate supplies and control strategies are in place and notify as needed other Division staff (for example, substitute staff and consultants).
Section 8, 18, 20, 45, 45.1, 60, 61, 113 School Act
Emergency Medical Aid Act
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Health Information Act
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Public Health Act
Communicable Disease Regulation (AR 238/85)
Ministerial Directive 4.1.1 – HIV / AIDS in Educational Settings
Guidelines for School Illness Outbreaks
Appendix 161-A, Prevention of Blood Borne Diseases
Appendix 161-B, Blood and Body Fluid Clean Up Protocol
Last updated: February 2019