Changes to TB surveillance programs for health care personnel

Below are highlights of the updated TB screening procedures for health care personnel working in UNC and UNC Hospital patient care locations. Please note that annual TB testing is no longer required for health care personnel working in UNC Hospitals or UNC SOM clinical locations.

  • All employees who are classified as health care personnel are required to have documentation of two-step Mantoux TST (e.g. two TSTs placed with a 12-month time interval) AND a negative TST or IGRA test within the past 12 months prior to hire. (Note: While a single IGRA test is sufficient to test for infection with M. tuberculosis, UNC and UNC Hospitals do not use IGRA testing for outbreak investigations, therefore a documented two-step TST is required.)
  • While not a condition of employment, employees will continue to be offered annual TST per CDC recommendations. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Settings, 2005. MMWR 2005; 54 (No. RR-17))
  • Employees who require additional TST and/or two-step testing for job-related purposes of working in or obtaining credentials at another facility may continue to obtain testing from the University Employees Occupational Health Clinic.
  • Documentation of a two-step TST AND a negative TST or IGRA test within the past 12 months are required for providers seeking credentials from UNC Hospitals. Additional TST is no longer required for re-credentialing at UNC Hospitals; however, annual TST may be required for other UNC Healthcare locations.
  • Employees with a history of a positive PPD, BCG vaccination, or successful treatment for active or latent tuberculosis will continue to be managed according to the UNC Hospitals Tuberculosis Management Protocol.
  • Current health care personnel who have established their negative TB status and who have had a TST after January 1, 2014 may begin using the online TB symptom screening to complete their annual TB screening requirement. If you have not had a TST within the past 24 months, you will need to have a TST placed before you can begin using the online TB symptom screening.

Please note that the above information is targeted to health care personnel working in UNC and UNC Hospital patient care locations. Separate TB protocols continue to be in place for research, DLAM, long-term care facilities and other programs where there is a risk for TB exposure. Please talk with your supervisor if you are unsure what TB surveillance protocol is required for your specific job location.

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The University Employee Occupational Health Clinic (UEOHC) provides occupational health care services to all part-time, full-time, and temporary employee of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The UEOHC is located at 145 N. Medical Drive. The UEOHC directs medical care for all workplace injuries/illnesses. The UEOHC also provides pre-employment screening, annual immunization reviews, and medical surveillance for healthcare and non-healthcare workers. Employees working in healthcare facilities are required to have annual immunization reviews. Other groups of employees are required to have medical surveillance screening if they work with asbestos, animals, or use respiratory protection, etc. Departments employing persons that require any services other than workplace incidents/injuries are charged for these services.