Administrative Procedure 413: Infection Control

Legal References

Education Act: Section 283 Chief Executive Officer: Maintain an Effective Organization; Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum 161 Supporting Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions in Schools; Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act; Health Protection and Promotion Act; Regulation 559/91 Specification of Reportable Diseases

Related References

1. Protection from Infectious Agents

1.1 This administrative procedure is provided to protect staff members from being exposed to infectious agents in the workplace. The principle used is called Routine
Practices and Additional Precautions, which assume that blood and all other body fluids, inclusive of urine, feces and saliva are potentially infectious.

1.2 An individual may be exposed to infectious agents through droplet or airborne spread, puncture into skin from contaminated glass or other sharp object; touching a contaminated object with breaks in the skin such as cuts, scrapes, dermatitis, acne, splashes of contaminated substance into eyes, mouth or nose; contact with
improperly disposed contaminated material; and assisting an injured person without wearing protective equipment.

2. Responsibilities

2.1 The principal/supervisor is required to communicate information about infectious agents to all staff members. An annual review of this procedure in September by
principals or supervisors is expected. Principals/supervisors will in-service new staff members upon arrival at the school at other times. It is strongly recommended that this procedure be posted in higher risk areas of the school (e.g., changing areas).

2.2 The principal/supervisor will ensure that personal protective equipment and alternative products are provided. Protective equipment will include, but not be limited to, safety goggles, vinyl gloves and vinyl aprons.

2.3 The staff member must follow safe work practices outlined in this procedure, participate in training and periodic reviews of this procedure and wear personal
protective equipment required by this procedure.

2.4 The environmental health and safety officer is responsible for reviewing and updating this procedure, as necessary.

3. Routine Practices Procedure

3.1 Blood and all body fluids, inclusive of urine, feces and saliva shall always be handled as if they could be infectious and every person shall be handled in a way that minimizes the exposure of staff members to blood and body fluids.

3.2 Disposable waterproof gloves (vinyl) shall be worn when in contact with blood, blood products, vomit, diarrhea, saliva, open wounds or sores and items soiled with blood or other body fluids.

3.3 The following procedures are important safety measures:

3.3.1 Wash hands with soap and running water prior to wearing gloves and after removing gloves. Inspect gloves prior to use and use new gloves for each
new individual.

3.3.2 If splashing of blood or body fluids into eyes, mouth or onto broken skin and rashes is a concern, wear goggles, safety glasses with side shields or a face
shield to prevent exposure. Cover any breaks in your skin with protective clothing and/or waterproof covering before coming into contact with the individual.

3.3.3 DO NOT touch your mouth, nose or eyes or skin breaks or abrasions while handling blood or body fluids.

3.3.4 Spills of contaminated or potentially contaminated material shall be immediately cleaned up with detergent and water, using disposable gloves. Cleaning should be immediately followed by disinfection.

3.3.5 Disinfect all contaminated or potentially contaminated surfaces, such as floors, walls, etc. with board and Health Unit recognized products.

3.3.6 Place materials soiled with blood or body fluids in leak-proof waste bags/containers. Use a broom and dustpan to clean up broken glass.

3.3.7 Change linen and clothing, which have been soiled with blood or body fluids. These items may be washed with the regular laundry. Wash and then
disinfect vinyl aprons.

3.3.8 Remove one glove by pulling it over the hand using the other gloved hand, being careful not to touch bare skin. While holding the removed glove in the
gloved hand, slip two fingers of the ungloved hand under the cuff of the second glove, being careful not to touch the outer surface of the glove. Peel the glove off and around the first glove. Discard both gloves, being careful not to touch the outside surfaces of the gloves.

3.3.9 Wash hands after removing gloves. Use plain soap and vigorously rub together all surfaces of lathered hands for at least 10 seconds. Rinse under a
stream of water. Dry hands thoroughly. Use paper towel to turn off taps (avoid the use of abrasive soaps and brushes). Hand lotion can be used to prevent drying of the skin.

3.4 If a worker is exposed to contaminated or potentially contaminated blood or body fluids, the following measures should be taken:

3.4.1 Report the incident to the principal/supervisor.
3.4.2 If splashes occur to the lips, mouth, eyes or nose, flush with water as soon as possible.
3.4.3 If hands and other body surfaces are exposed, wash with soap and running water as soon as practical.
3.4.4 Allow the wound to bleed freely, then cleanse with soap and running water.
3.4.5 Apply sterile dressing to the wound.
3.4.6 Seek medical attention if the individual receives a puncture into the skin, contact through a break in the skin, or splashes into eyes, mouth or nose.
3.4.7 Follow required reporting procedures as set out in the administrative procedures listed under “Related References” in the header of this procedure.

4. Special Precautions

4.1 Staff members who have open wounds or weeping dermatitis should refrain from contact with blood or other body fluids.

4.2 Staff members who are pregnant should be completely familiar with and particularly careful to observe all precautions, to minimize the risk of transmission of any
infectious agents.

4.3 Staff members who work directly with students who:
    1. Are designated developmentally delayed;
    2. Have a physical challenge;
    3. Exhibit aggressive behaviours (e.g., biting);
    4. Have a prevalent medical condition; and/or
    5. Require specific interventions which may include but not be limited to catheterization, suctioning or administration of medication, may need to take
      special precautions in order to best protect themselves and the students they work with from infectious agents.
4.4 Risk of transmission is more likely to occur where diapers are changed, objects are mouthed or children bite each other or the people handling them (e.g., children with special needs). Such children may lack control of their body secretions or may exhibit aggressive behaviour.

4.5 Staff members who may be at risk including academic staff, custodians and first aid attendants should get a hepatitis B vaccination series.

4.6 See Appendix A: Infection Control.

5. Fifth Disease (Parvovirus B-19)

5.1 Fifth Disease is a mild viral infection common among elementary school children. It is spread from person to person through contact with respiratory secretions of an infected person and has an incubation period of 4–14 days. Fifth Disease is not a reportable disease. See Appendix B: Fifth Disease Fact Sheet.

5.2 There is no vaccine or medicine that prevents Parvovirus B19 infection. Frequent hand washing is recommended as a practical and probably effective method to
reduce the spread of parvovirus. Excluding persons with Fifth Disease from work, child care centres, schools, or other settings is not likely to prevent the spread of
Parvovirus B19, since ill persons are contagious before they develop the characteristic rash.

5.3 The disease is most often not diagnosed until a rash appears on the child’s face. The child is considered to be contagious up to the time that the facial rash develops but by the time the rash appears, the child is usually no longer contagious.

5.4 The affected child is not required to stay home from school. However, the disease can be harmful to pregnant individuals who do not have immunity to the disease.
Therefore, once the disease is diagnosed, this information must be posted on the front door of the building, as soon as the information is relayed (distribute the
attached Fifth Disease Fact Sheet found in Appendix B).

5.5 Staff members are strongly encouraged to consult with their doctor about testing for immunity if they are in their childbearing years or if they are contemplating having a family. This pre-planning will leave staff members better prepared in the event there is a case of Fifth Disease within the school.

6. Pregnant Staff Members (Fifth Disease and Rubella)

6.1 If a pregnant teacher is advised by their physician not to attend the workplace where there is a known case of Fifth Disease or Rubella, the teacher shall be reassigned to an alternate site with pay and with no loss of sick leave. If the teacher chooses not to accept such reassignment they may stay at home using sick leave.

6.2 See Appendix B: Fifth Disease Fact Sheet (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC).

6.3 See Appendix C: Communicable Disease Isolation Guidelines (Huron Perth Public Health)

6.4 See Appendix D: Diseases of Public Health Significance (Ontario Reg.135/18 and amendments under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, O. Reg. 08/18).
Appendix A - Infection Control
Appendix B - Parvovirus B 19 (Fifth Disease Fact Sheet)
Appendix C - Communicable Disease Exclusion Guidelines for Schools and Childcare
Appendix D - Diseases of Public Health Significance
Revised December 2022