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419R - Contagious, Infectious, and Transmittable Diseases

Students suffering from common contagious or infectious diseases shall be excluded from the public schools while in that condition. Decision concerning the exclusion of students suffering from common childhood diseases such as measles, chicken pox, impetigo, strep throat, scarlet fever, pediculosis, or scabies shall be made by the principal of the school in consultation with the school nurse on the basis of recommendations of the Virginia Department of Health as found in the communicable-disease reference chart for school personnel.

I. Procedures

The following procedures will be utilized in determining the attendance at school of any student who suffers from a disease or condition transmitted by blood or body fluids. Frederick County Public Schools will work cooperatively with the Health Department to ensure compliance with Virginia Code 22.1-271.3 for school attendance of children infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

A. Students are expected to be in compliance with an immunization schedule (Article 2, 22.1-271.2); however, some required immunizations may be harmful to the health of the student who is HIV infected or has AIDS. Students who are HIV infected or have AIDS may get an exemption from complying with the requirements (Virginia Code 22.1-272). School personnel will cooperate with public health personnel in completing and coordinating immunization data, exemptions, and exclusions, including immunization forms.

B. Mandatory screening for HIV infection is not warranted as a condition for school entry. Upon learning a student is HIV infected or has AIDS, the superintendent will consult with the individual's family and physician or a health official from the local department to determine whether the student is well enough to stay in school. Since it is known that HIV is not transmitted through casual contact, any student who is HIV infected will continue education in a regular classroom assignment unless the health status interferes significantly with performance.

C. If a change in the student's program is necessary, the superintendent or designee, family, and physician or health official will develop an individual plan which is medically, legally, and educationally sound. If the HIV student is receiving special education services, the services will be in agreement with established policies.

D. Parents/guardians may appeal decisions for restriction or exclusion as determined by the school division's established procedures.

E. All persons privileged with any medical information about HIV infected students shall be required to treat all proceedings, discussions, and documents as confidential information. Individuals will be informed of the situation on a "Need to Know" basis with written consent of the parent/guardian.

F. Universal precautions for handling blood will be implemented within the school setting and on buses. To ensure implementation of the proper standard operating procedures for all body fluids, the guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health will be followed. In-service training will be provided to all school personnel. Training will include local division policies; etiology, transmission, prevention, and risk reduction of HIV; standard operating procedures for handling blood and body fluids; and community resources available for information and referral. Periodic updates will be supplied through in-service or memoranda.

G. Comprehensive and age-appropriate instruction on the principal modes by which HIV is spread and the best methods for the reduction and prevention of AIDS are required to encourage the support and protection of the HIV infected student. To enhance school attendance, the school division will collaborate with public and private organizations in the provision of support services to HIV infected students.

II. Virginia Department Of Health Guidelines For Preventing Bloodborne Infections In Schools (February 2004)

Because the blood and certain body fluids (semen and vaginal secretions) of all persons must be considered potentially infectious for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and C, and other organisms, it is important to follow precautions. Fortunately, in the case of schools, one need only be concerned about blood. Universal precautions do not apply to feces, nasal secretions, saliva, sputum, sweat, tears, urine, and vomitus unless they contain blood. Despite the extremely remote risk that exposure of skin to blood could result in infection (the unabraided skin is an excellent defense against bloodborne organisms), the following precautions should be adhered to without any exceptions:

1. Those involved in cleaning surfaces contaminated with blood or rendering first aid to bleeding children should wear disposable gloves and avoid exposure of open skin lesions and mucous membranes to blood.

2. Surfaces contaminated with blood should be promptly cleaned with household bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) using disposable towels and tissues.

3. Hands must be washed after gloves are removed.

4. If advertent contamination of the skin with blood were to occur, all that is required is thorough washing of the contaminated areas with soap and water.

III. Communications

When a potential exposure into an open wound, abraded skin, eye, nose, mouth, or other mucosal surface has occurred, the principal or school nurse will contact the parent or guardian of the student(s) involved. 

Approved: February 15, 1988
Amended: January 25, 2006