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Communicable Disease Management

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What happens when a patient has a communicable disease? 

In the event of a confirmed communicable disease exposure on your unit or facility, the Infection Control department will contact the Provincial Workplace Health Contact Centre.  They will provide notification of the event and collaborate with the Communicable Disease Exposure Management Nurses, Public Health and/or Medical Health Officers to manage the exposure. 

How will I know If I need to take action? 

If follow up is needed for employees, the managers of the affected departments will be notified by the Provincial Workplace Health Contact Centre.  If a communicable disease exposure occurred on your unit:

  1. You will be sent a password protected notification email with the details regarding the exposure criteria for your employees.  Due to confidentiality, the password, as well as the name and date of birth or the source person, will be provided over the phone to you. 
  2. You will be asked to notify your employees that may meet the exposure criteria outlined in the email and to have these employees contact the Provincial Workplace Health Contact Centre. 

For certain communicable diseases, there are prophylactic treatments that can be given to exposed employees.  Often times, these prophylactic treatments can only be given within a certain time frame from the date of exposure.  Therefore, you may be asked to notify exposed employees to contact us as soon as possible after an exposure. 

In some cases recommendations for exposed employees need to be determined by the Medical Health Officer for the health authority prior to initiating contact with a department to provide direction on management of the exposure. 

For inquiries or questions, please contact the Communicable Disease Exposure Management Nurse at 1-866-922-9464  (select Option 1) or email


Privacy information to support data collection for communicable disease exposure management

Collection, Use and Disclosure of Personal Information by the Health Authorities and Providence Health Care to support exposure management in response to a case of a communicable disease event, pandemic, or novel pathogen.

On March 1, 2019, Deputy Minister Steve Brown issued a mandate letter to the Health Authorities of BC and Providence Health Care following a significant surge in measles exposure event activity in the province, compromising patient care and worker health. This letter outlines the Ministry's expectation that health authorities follow BC immunization guidelines for health care workers and that all regions implement processes to collect and maintain records of immunization/immunity for all health care workers including physicians.  The letter further indicates these records should be maintained in the Workplace Health Indicator Tracking and Evaluation (WHITE) database to facilitate rapid assessment following communicable disease exposures. 

The purpose of this notice is to provide you with information about the plans for the collection and use of vaccination/immunity status information about health care workers and medical staff working for the Health Authorities of BC and Providence Health Care to ensure compliance with these vaccination and immunity record requirements and to ensure that we provide employees, staff and patients with a safe and healthy environment. 

Vaccination/immunity Status Information of health care workers is collected, used and disclosed by the Health Authorities of BC and Providence Health Care for the purposes of complying with ministry of health expectations and requirements, to ensure that employees are provided with a safe and healthy workplace, to manage the employment relationship, and to enable public health surveillance and health sector planning. Vaccination/immunity status information may also be aggregated and used to assess broader public health and health sector planning needs. 

Vaccination/immunity status information will continue to be maintained in a secure information system known as the Workplace Health Indicator Tracking and Evaluation (WHITE) system, which has been in existence for many years and is specifically designed to maintain workplace health and safety information. Only authorized users of the WHITE system will have access to your vaccination/immunity status information, and such access will take place only on a "need to know" basis and for authorized purposes. Users of WHITE do not have access to your personal health number or non-immunity related health records. The system will only provide information verifying whether or not you have been vaccinated or have immunity.   

Vaccine and Immunity status information is collected in reliance on the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), sections 26(a),(c), (e), 27(1)(a)(iii), 27(1)(f) and 27(1)(b), the Public Health Act, and the E-Health (Personal Health Information Access and Protection of Privacy) Act. 

If you have any questions regarding this privacy notification, including the collection, use or disclosure of personal information, please contact: 

Phone:  1-855-229-9800

SOURCE: Communicable Disease Management ( )
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