Back to Top

Interim Policy Regarding COVID-19 – Effective March 9, 2022

As part of our commitment to the health and safety of the Anne Arundel Community College (“College”) employees, students, and the greater community, the College encourages COVID-19 vaccinations or testing for COVID-19 for all students and employees. Vaccination against COVID-19 is required for students and employees participating in Clinicals (as defined below).  Vaccination, testing, and face coverings are vital tools to reduce the presence and severity of COVID-19 cases in the workplace, in learning environments, in communities, and in the nation as a whole.  The College requires anyone who has tested positive or been diagnosed with COVID-19, who experiences symptoms of COVID-19, or has been exposed to someone who has or is suspected of having COVID-19 to notify the College and if instructed by the College, to leave College facilities and remain off campus until certain criteria are met.

I.  Purpose

A. The College encourages all employees and students to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect themselves and the College’s employees, students, and the greater community as well as to obtain a booster or additional primary dose once eligible.  

B.  This Policy establishes that Clinical Participants (as defined below) must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination to the College, unless granted an accommodation by the College (and if applicable, the Clinical Site) in accordance with the Interim Procedure on COVID-19 Vaccination for Clinical Participants.

C.  This Policy establishes that all employees, students, and visitors must wear face coverings as set forth in the Interim Procedure on Face Coverings, unless granted an accommodation.

D.  This Policy establishes that all employees, students, and visitors must promptly notify the College if they test positive or are diagnosed with COVID-19, experience COVID-19 symptoms, or have a close contact with an individual with COVID-19 and must immediately leave and will not be permitted to enter Any Location (as defined below) until they meet the College’s return to AACC criteria as directed by an authorized College employee as set forth in the Interim Procedure for COVID-19 Reporting and Return to AACC.

E.  This Policy further establishes the rules that apply to visitors to the College related to COVID-19.

II.  Scope and Applicability

This Policy applies to all College Employees, Students, and Visitors, as those terms are defined below.

III.  Definitions

A.  Clinical(s) include clinicals, internships or externships in health care or clinic settings in the School of Health Sciences or one of the following programs in the School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development: Central Sterile Processing, Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, Certified Medicine Aide, Nurse Refresher, or Vet Assisting.  Fieldwork in the Human Services program is not considered a Clinical.

B.  Clinical Participant(s) means an Employee or Student participating in a Clinical at a Clinical Site.

C.  COVID Case means an individual who has received a positive COVID Test or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed healthcare provider within the last ten (10) days.

D.  COVID Reporting Procedure is the Interim Procedure on COVID-19 Reporting and Return to AACC.

E.  COVID Symptoms means fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea; or any other COVID-19 symptom identified by a federal or Maryland public health agency.

F.  Employee includes all regular faculty and staff, temporary Employees, contractual Employees, and adjunct faculty employed by the College.

G.  EUA means emergency use authorization from the FDA.

H.  Face Covering means material that:

1.  Completely covers the nose and mouth;

2.  Is made with two or more layers of a breathable fabric that is tightly woven (e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source);

3.  Is secured to the head with ties, ear loops, or elastic bands that go behind the head;

4.  Fits snugly over the nose, mouth, and chin with no large gaps on the outside of the face; and

5.  Is a solid piece of material without slits, exhalation valves, visible holes, punctures, or other openings.

I.  Face Coverings Procedure is the Interim Procedure on Face Coverings.

J.  FDA means the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

K.  Fully Vaccinated means:

1.  A person’s status two (2) weeks after completing primary vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine with, if applicable, at least the minimum recommended interval between doses in accordance with the approval, authorization, or listing that is:

a.  Approved or authorized for emergency use by the FDA;

b.  Listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (“WHO”); or

c.  Administered as part of a clinical trial at a U.S. site, if the recipient is documented to have primary vaccination with the “active” (not placebo) COVID-19 vaccine candidate, for which vaccine efficacy has been independently confirmed (e.g., by a data and safety monitoring board), or if the clinical trial participant from the U.S. site had received a COVID-19 vaccine that is neither approved nor authorized for use by FDA but is listed for emergency use by WHO; or

2.  A person’s status two (2) weeks after receiving the second dose of any combination of two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is approved or authorized by the FDA or listed as a two-dose series by the WHO (i.e., heterologous primary series of such vaccines, receiving doses of different COVID-19 vaccines as part of one primary series) (sometimes referred to as mixed doses or mixing and matching).

L.  Locations are categorized as follows:

1.  College Location includes the Arnold campus, the Glen Burnie Town Center location, including Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute (known as “HCAT”), and the Arundel Mills location.

2.  Clinical Site is a location where an Employee or Student participates in a Clinical.

3.  Offsite Location is a location where the College offers educational services that is not a College Location or Clinical Site, including, but not limited to, the Anne Arundel County Senior Centers, the Anne Arundel County Public Schools, or employer sites.

4.  All Locations or Any Location includes College Locations, Clinical Sites, and Offsite Locations.

M.  Respirator Procedure means the Interim Procedure on Respirators.

N.  Student means an individual who is currently enrolled in classes at the College, including credit or non-credit bearing classes, and does not include individuals who have applied and been accepted to the College but have not yet enrolled.

O.  Up-to-Date means a person has received all recommended doses in their primary series COVID-19 vaccine, and a booster dose when eligible.

P.   Vaccination Procedure means the Interim Procedure on COVID-19 Vaccination for Clinical Participants.

Q.  Visitor means any individual who comes to Any Location that is not a Student or Employee, including but not limited to, applicants to the College who have not yet enrolled in classes, volunteers, and employees of College vendors, suppliers, and contractors.

IV.  Face Coverings 

A. Employees, Students, and Visitors will be required to wear a Face Covering at All Locations in accordance with the Face Coverings Procedure. 

B. The Anne Arundel County Health Department hosts a clinic at the Arnold location where the Health Department offers vaccination and boosters free of charge.

C. Employees and Students who are required to wear a respirator to participate in a class offered by the College or who voluntarily wear a respirator in lieu of a Face Covering while present at an AACC Location should follow the Respirator Procedure.

V.  Encouragement to Become Vaccinated Against COVID-19

A.  The College encourages all Employees and Students to become Fully Vaccinated and Up-to-Date.

B.  The Anne Arundel County Health Department hosts a clinic at the Arnold location where the Health Department offers vaccination and boosters free of charge.

C.  The CDC’s Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines provides information regarding vaccine efficacy, safety, and the benefits of being vaccinated.

D.  An Employee may take a reasonable amount of work time to become vaccinated against COVID-19.  

E.  If the Employee wishes to use work time to become vaccinated the Employee must consult with their supervisor for arrange an appropriate time to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine during work hours.

F.  An Employee who suffers from symptoms after becoming vaccinated may be eligible for COVID leave and should contact HR to request COVID leave, if available.

VI.  Vaccine Mandate for Clinical Participants

A.  Beginning on Jan. 1, 2022, all Clinical Participants are required to be Fully Vaccinated.

B.  In addition, Clinical Participants must comply with the Clinical Site’s rules regarding vaccination and testing for COVID-19.

1.  If a Clinical Participant does not comply with the Clinical Site’s rules, the Clinical Participant may be unable to participate in the course, could have to withdraw or fail the course, and/or may be unable to work at the Clinical Site or meet the essential functions of the Employee’s job. 

2.  Some Clinical Sites may require Clinical Participants to be Up-to-Date.

3.  The College will not consider requests for exemption or accommodation to the Clinical Site’s rules; such requests must be submitted directly to the Clinical Site.

C.   Clinical Participants are required to provide proof of being Fully Vaccinated to the College in accordance with the Vaccination Procedure.

1. If the Clinical Site requires the College to collect proof of a Clinical Participant being Up-to-Date, the Clinical Participant will be required to provide proof of being Up-to-Date.

2. Any Clinical Participant who does not provide proof of being Fully Vaccinated (and Up-to-Date if required by the Clinical Site) will not be permitted to participate in the Clinical or go to the Clinical Site.  

D.  Clinical Participants must provide truthful and accurate information about their COVID-19 vaccination status. 

E.  Clinical Participants will not be permitted to provide COVID test results in lieu of being Fully Vaccinated, unless the Clinical Participant has requested and been granted an accommodation to the vaccine requirement by both the College and the Clinical Site, if the Clinical Site requires vaccination.

VII.  Accommodations

A.  All requests for accommodations will be handled in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and the accompanying Procedures.

B.  Clinical Participants may seek an accommodation by submitting a request in accordance with and by the deadlines set forth in the Vaccination Procedure.

VIII.  Reporting a COVID Case

A.  Employees, Students, and Visitors must report to the College within twenty-four (24) hours after learning that they have a COVID Case, have COVID Symptoms, or have had a close contact in accordance with the COVID Reporting Procedure.

B.  Such Employees, Students, and Visitors are not permitted to enter Any Location until the College’s return to AACC criteria, set forth in the COVID Reporting Procedure, is met.

C.  If an Employee, Student, or Visitor is present at Any Location at the time the report is made, the Employee, Student, or Visitor must immediately leave as soon as possible. 

D.  If an Employee, Student, or Visitor refuses to leave at the time the report is made, Public Safety may escort the individual off the premises at Any Location.

IX.  Disciplinary Action

A.  Employees who fail to comply with this Policy and/or the applicable Procedures will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment.

B.  Students who fail to comply with this Policy and/or the applicable Procedures will be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal from the College, in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.

X.  Confidentiality, Privacy, and Security

A.  All medical information collected from individuals, including vaccination information, test results, any other information obtained as a result of testing, and requests for accommodation will be treated in accordance with applicable laws and policies on confidentiality and privacy, including but not limited to, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

B.  All such medical information will be collected and stored in a secure fashion.

XI.  Information Regarding this Policy

A.  The College designates the Vice President of Learning Resources Management as the coordinator of COVID-19 campus safety efforts.

B.  Employees who have questions regarding this Policy or the accompanying Procedures not addressed in the comprehensive frequently asked questions published on the College’s website should email questions to employeevax@aacc.edu

C.  Students who have questions regarding this Policy or the accompanying Procedures not addressed in the comprehensive frequently asked questions published on the College’s website should email questions to studentvax@aacc.edu

XII. Visitors

A.  Visitors must wear a Face Covering when present at Any Location, subject to the rules of Offsite Locations, in accordance with the Face Coverings Procedure.

B.  Public Safety may escort any Visitor who does not wear a Face Covering from the premises at Any Location, in accordance with the Face Covering Procedure.

C.  Visitors must follow the COVID Reporting Procedure.

D.  Employees of College vendors, suppliers, and contractors may be subject to additional rules regarding COVID as set forth in the contract between the College and the vendor, supplier, or contractor or in a separate College procedure.

Policy Title: Interim Policy regarding COVID-19

Policy Category: General

Policy Owner: President

Policy Administrator: Vice President of Learning Resources Management

Contact Information: mabeardmore@aacc.edu; 410-777-2532

Approval Date: March 24, 2022

Effective Date: March 9, 2022

History: Adopted on January 26, 2022; Revised on March 24, 2022

Applies to: All College employees, students, and visitors

Related Policies: N/A

Related Procedures:

Forms/Guidelines: CDC’s Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines

Relevant Laws: N/A