Infection Control Policy

Students in the patient care setting are at increased risk of acquiring and transmitting communicable diseases to patients, visitors and colleagues. Student Health Service works closely with various campus offices to ensure students are appropriately trained, screened, treated, and when necessary, removed from patient contact.

All students with patient contact must complete infection control training periodically. Infection control training is provided by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, as well as through an online course in infection control, and covers numerous topics including universal precautions, clinical safety and bloodborne pathogens training. Students may be required to undergo additional training modules by New York–Presbyterian Hospital. All students with patient contact will also undergo respirator training and fit–testing, also through the Office of Environmental Health & Safety.

Students exposed to communicable illness or with signs and symptoms of communicable illness are advised to set up a visit with Student Health for evaluation and, if appropriate, prophylactic treatment. Student health will notify public health authorities or the hospital epidemiology department as needed, so exposed patients can received appropriate evaluation and treatment. Students may require temporary restriction of patient contact/academic duties and the Director of Student Health will coordinate with the student, their supervisor and/or appropriate associate dean or director to ensure that student does not pose a hazard to Cornell community.

Conditions that require evaluation and/or treatment include: (list adapted from NYPH IC&dhas;700 http://infonet.nyp.org/EPI/Manual/ohs.pdf – Intranet only)

  • Tuberculosis exposure
  • Staphylococcal infection or carriage
  • Group A Streptococcal infection
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Bloodborne Pathogen exposure
  • Varicella exposure
  • Scabies exposure
  • Lice exposure
  • Chronic infectious disease
  • Influenza
  • Meningococcal Disease
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Other communicable disease or symptom such as herpes simplex, herpes zoster, measles, mumps, rubella, unexplained fever, unexplained cough, pertussis, rash or open sores and fingernail bed disease.

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