COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 180

August 15, 2008

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Disease Outbreak Reporting in Schools

 

On July 1, 2008, a new law went into effect that modified section 32.1-37 of the Code of Virginia to require anyone in charge of any program, service, or facility licensed or operated by any state agency, including schools, to report outbreaks of disease to the local health department. The Division of Epidemiology at the Virginia Department of Health has drafted a fact sheet, Attachment A, on required outbreak reporting to provide guidance to those agencies required to report.

 

An outbreak is defined as the occurrence of more cases of disease than expected. There is no strict definition or specific number of cases that need to occur to be considered an outbreak. If people who work in a facility sense that more people are sick with similar symptoms than is usually seen, then an outbreak should be reported to the local health department serving the city or county in which the facility is located. Contact information for Virginia's health districts and their component city and county health departments is available at www.vdh.virginia.gov/lhd/.

 

Should you have further questions, please contact Tia Campbell, RN, MSN, NCSN, school health specialist, at 804-786-8671 or Tia.Campbell@doe.virginia.gov.

 

BKCJr/tbc

 

Attachment

a. Outbreak Reporting Requirement for Facilities and Programs (PDF)