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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.

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 boosters or additional primary doses once eligible.

B. This COVID-19 Policy (“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 COVID-19 Vaccination for Clinical Participants Procedure.

C. This Policy establishes that the College may issue a mandate to all employees, students, and visitors to wear face coverings as set forth in the Face Coverings Procedure, unless granted an accommodation.

D. 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. CDC means the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

B. 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 and clinics for the Massage Therapy program are not considered Clinicals.

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

D. COVID Case means an individual who has received a positive COVID test or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed healthcare provider until the individual has met the criteria required by the COVID-19 Reporting Procedure.

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 part-time faculty employed by the College.

G. 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.

6. Face shields, neck gaiters, open-chin bandanas, other coverings with openings at the chin, material that contains exhalation valves without filters, and knit or mesh material or holes of any kind do not meet the definition of a Face Covering.

H. Fully Vaccinated means:

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

a. Approved or authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“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).

I. 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”), the Arundel Mills location, and the Fort Meade Education & Resiliency Center.

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.

J. 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.

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

L. Vaccination Procedure means the COVID-19 Vaccination for Clinical Participants Procedure.

M. 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 may be required to wear a Face Covering at Any Location if announced by the College in accordance with the Face Coverings Procedure.

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

VI.   Vaccine Mandate for Clinical Participants

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

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 or to be tested for COVID-19 on a regular or ad hoc basis.

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

VII.  COVID Case. Employees, Students, and Visitors who have COVID Symptoms or have a close contact with a COVID Case are encouraged to follow the CDC Guidance on Isolation and Precautions for People with COVID-19.

VIII. 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.

IX. 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.

Policy Title: COVID-19 Policy

Policy Category: General

Policy Owner: President

Policy Administrator: Vice President of Learning Resources Management

Contact; 410-777-2532.

Approval Date: June 14, 2023

Effective Date: July 1, 2023

History: Interim Policy on COVID-19 was adopted on January 26, 2022; Interim Policy was revised on March 24, 2022; Interim Policy was revised on August 22, 2022; Policy was adopted on March 24, 2023

Applies to: All College employees, students, and visitors

Related Policies: N/A

Related Procedures:


Relevant Laws: N/A