COMMUNICABLE DISEASE POLICY
Date Revised: September 2021
Maine Media Workshops + College recognizes the inherent risks to the Maine Media community associated with communicable diseases. In an effort to promote appropriate health standards and safety, the Maine Media community is expected to comply with Maine Media’s established rules, processes and procedures regarding notifiable communicable diseases to reduce risk of contracting or transmitting communicable diseases.
This Communicable Disease Policy (Policy) applies to the entire Maine Media community, which is defined as including but not limited to all students, faculty, employees, and any other person(s), groups, or organizations affiliated with Maine Media Workshops + College.
For the purposes of this Policy, the following terms shall have the meanings specified below:
- The term “communicable diseases” refers to diseases, which are capable of being transmitted to other individuals in various ways.
- The term “epidemic” refers to when an infectious disease spreads rapidly to many people (e.g. SARS).
- The term “pandemic” refers to a global disease outbreak (e.g. HIV/AIDS).
Notifiable Disease Public health officials at state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborate in determining which diseases should be nationally notifiable. A disease may be added to the list as a new pathogen emerges or may be deleted as its incidence decreases. It is the responsibility of the Maine Media community to review this list and inquire about the currency and possible changes to this list which may be accessed online at: https://wwwn.cdc.gov/nndss/conditions/search/
REPORTING NOTIFIABLE COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
Employees and students who are infected with a notifiable communicable disease are to report such information to the appropriate designated Maine Media COT member so Maine Media may respond promptly and appropriately. Failure by employees or students infected with a notifiable communicable disease to report may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
Students, faculty, employees, and any other person(s) or any other representatives of Maine Media who are directly advised of; or become aware of someone (e.g. employee, student, etc.) who is infected with a notifiable communicable disease are to immediately advise (without exception) one of the COT member named below.
Campus Oversight Team (COT)
President, Michael Mansfield 207-236-8581 x 350 cell: 207-360-1501
Provost, Elizabeth Greenberg 207-236-8581 x 353 cell: 207-542-2238
Dir, Student Services, Kerry Curren 207-236-8581 x 303 cell: 207-236-2705
Dir, Finance and Admin, Cathi Finnemore 207-236-8581 x 360 cell: 207-542-5327
SEEKING CARE FOR A COMMUNICABLE DISEASE
Persons who are infected with a communicable disease are expected to seek expert medical advice and are encouraged to advise local health authorities. Communication within Maine Media should Maine Media become aware of a published concern by national, state or local officials regarding a communicable disease, which has reached a pandemic stage, Maine Media shall regularly monitor the situation by communicating with local and state health officials and by reviewing media sources. In turn, Maine Media will formally communicate such findings with the Maine Media community as well as, information about the disease and prevention. The President, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Director of Finance & Admin and/or Director of Student Services is charged with formulating, ensuring accuracy of information and appropriate approvals, and distributing email/text messages to constituencies of the entire Maine Media community. No individual or department other than the President, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Director of Finance & Admin and/or Director of Student Services is to create or distribute messages for these audiences. When the need arises for an immediate communication to any of these groups, it must be coordinated through the specified individuals mentioned above.
Persons who know or who have reason to believe that they are infected with a notifiable communicable disease have an ethical and legal obligation to conduct themselves in accordance with such knowledge in order to protect themselves and others. Students and employees who have notifiable communicable diseases, whether symptomatic or not, will be allowed regular classroom and work attendance in an unrestrictive manner as long as they are physically able to attend classes, Maine Media activities and /or work; are able to perform their essential job functions or educational requirements and medical evidence indicates they do not pose a medically proven threat to themselves or others or a threat for transmission of the disease or condition.
Any individual who knowingly or willingly transmits a notifiable communicable disease may be subject to Maine Media’s disciplinary procedures. Criminal penalties may also apply.
REPORTING ILLNESS TO LOCAL/STATE AUTHORITIES
A designated Maine Media official or their designee shall report to the local health authority a suspected case of a reportable disease as defined by state law and/or relevant County Board of Health.
Should a communicable disease reach a pandemic level within the service area, after consulting with local health officials, Maine Media may be closed temporarily if designated Maine Media officials feel it is in the best interest of the community.
Maine Media reserves the right to exclude a person with a communicable disease from Maine Media facilities, programs, and functions if Maine Media makes a medically based determination that the restriction is necessary for the welfare of the person who has the communicable disease and/or the welfare of other members of the community.
Maine Media shall comply with all pertinent statutes and regulations which protect the privacy of persons in the community who have a communicable disease. Maine Media’s decisions involving persons who have communicable diseases shall be made on a case-by-case basis, based on current and well-informed medical judgments concerning the disease; the risks of transmitting the illness to others; the symptoms and special circumstances of each individual who has a communicable disease; federal and state disease control laws; state public health recommendations; and a careful weighing of the identified risks. Maine Media will obtain appropriate medical direction, when necessary, to ensure that an individual’s condition does not pose a significant risk of substantial harm to themselves or to others.
With the exception of blood borne pathogens such as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), AIDS-Related Complex (ARC), Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and Positive HIV antibody status, sexually transmitted diseases need not be reported to Maine Media. Medical information relating to the communicable diseases of an employee or student will be disclosed to other responsible Maine Media officials only on a limited need-to-know basis.
STANDARD OF CONDUCT TOWARD INDIVIDUALS WITH A COMMUNICABLE DISEASE
Employees who have unwarranted fears of exposure will not be allowed to refuse to work with individuals affected by communicable disease. In addition, it is unacceptable for employees to spread rumors regarding situations involving communicable disease where such rumors may affect the privacy, dignity and well-being of others. Behavior of this nature will not be tolerated at Maine Media and will lead to appropriate discipline up to and including dismissal.
In order for Maine Media Workshops + College to remain a vibrant and healthy location for students, faculty, staff, and guests and given the heightened need for vigilance due to the existence of communicable diseases like the flu and coronavirus, we ask that all people follow the guidelines below:
- Stay home if you are sick — If you have a fever, do not return to work or classes until you are fever free for 24 hours.
- If you get sick and are staying in the dorms — please notify your Student Services. If possible, arrangements will be made for remote/alternative access to programming.
- If you are sick, avoid touching your face — particularly nose, mouth and eyes.
- If you are sick, avoid hands-on interactions — no handshakes, hugs, etc. and be cognizant of social-distancing guidelines.
- Wash your hands frequently — for a minimum of 20 seconds, wash the backs of your hands as well as your palms, between your fingers, and under your fingernails.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes — ideally with something disposable (like a tissue) which can then be immediately thrown away.