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Interim Procedure on Face Coverings – Effective August 23, 2022

I.  Purpose

This Procedure is adopted to implement the Interim Policy regarding COVID-19 (“Policy”).

II.  Scope and Applicability

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

III.  Definitions

A.  All capitalized terms in this Procedure have the meanings provided in the Policy.

B.  Clear Face Covering means a Face Covering made of clear materials or a cloth Face Coverings with a clear plastic panel that, despite the non-cloth material allowing light to pass through and which may be used to facilitate communication with people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing or others who need to see a speaker's mouth or facial expressions to understand speech or sign language respectively.

IV.  Face Coverings Optional

A. Employees, Students, and Visitors have the option of wearing a Face Covering while indoors at Any Locations.

B. Employees and Students must comply with any policies, procedures, or rules of the Offsite Location regarding Face Coverings outside of the classroom.

C. The College’s COVID Safety Staff may direct an Employee, Student, or Visitor to wear a Face Covering while at Any Location for a specified period of time as a condition of returning to AACC, as set forth in the Interim Procedure on COVID-19 Reporting and Returning to AACC.

V.  Future Requirement to Wear a Face Covering

A. The College continues to monitor metrics regarding COVID-19.

B.  If the College determines that Face Coverings will be required to be worn at Any Location, the College will announce this change on its website and via email to Employees, Students, and Visitors.

C.  If the Face Covering requirement goes into effect, the announcement will state the date the requirement goes into effect and the Sections below will become effective on the date stated in the announcement.

D.  If the Face Covering requirement subsequently is removed, the College will announce this change on its website and via email to Employees, Students, and Visitors, including the date the requirement will end.

VI.  Requirement to Wear a Face Covering

A.  If the College announces a requirement to wear a Face Covering, Employees, Students, and Visitors will be required to wear a Face Covering:

1.  While indoors at all Any Locations; and

2.  When occupying a vehicle with another person for work or for educational purposes, including but not limited to team travel to athletic events; and

3.  Within classrooms at Offsite Locations.

B.  If the College announces a requirement to wear a Face Covering, the following are exceptions will apply and Face Coverings will not be required:

1. When an individual is alone in a room with floor to ceiling walls and a closed door;

2. For a limited time, while an individual is eating or drinking at Any Location;

3. For a limited time, while an individual is asked to remove the Face Covering for identification purposes in compliance with safety and security requirements;

4. When an individual is wearing a respirator or facemask;

5. Where the College has determined that the use of Face Coverings is infeasible or creates a greater hazard (e.g., when it is important to see the individual’s mouth for reasons related to their job duties or education, when the work requires the use of the individual’s uncovered mouth, or when the use of a Face Covering presents a risk of serious injury or death to the individual); and

6. When an individual has requested and been granted an accommodation to not wear a Face Covering for medical, disability, or religious reasons.

C.  Employees, Students, and Visitors are expected to provide their own Face Covering while at Any Location; however, a limited supply of disposable Face Coverings is available at the Department of Public Safety and Police’s communication desk in the Central Services Building or in Administrative offices for any individual who appears at a College Location without a Face Covering or if a Face Covering is lost or damaged when a Face Covering is required to be worn.

D.  While a requirement to wear a Face Covering is in effect, the College may remove anyone present at Any Location that is not wearing a Face Covering or is not properly wearing a Face Covering, unless the individual has applied for and been granted an accommodation by the College in accordance with the Accommodations Section below.

E.  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 and may not be worn at Any Locations while a requirement to wear a Face Covering is in effect.

VII. Enforcement

A.  Unless the Employee or Student has been granted an accommodation by the College, if an Employee or Student is not wearing a Face Covering appropriately when it is required by the College to be worn:

1.  A faculty member or other employee may ask the Student or Employee to leave Any Location;

2.  Any individual may notify the Employee’s supervisor; and/or

3.  Any individual may file an Incident Report with the College.

B.  The College may take disciplinary action for repeated non-compliance with the requirement to wear a Face Covering.

C.  Any individual who observes Visitor who is not wearing a Face Covering while a requirement to wear a Face Covering is in effect may notify the Public Safety at 410-777-1818.

D.  If any individual refuses to wear a Face Covering when required at Any Location and has not been granted an accommodation by the College, Public Safety may be called to escort the individual off campus.

VIII. Accommodations

A.  If a requirement to wear a Face Covering is in effect, an Employee or Student who has a medical condition, disability, or sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance that prevents them from wearing a Face Covering may be eligible for an accommodation, depending on the circumstances.

1.  Employees should contact HR at employeevax@aacc.edu to request an accommodation.

2.  Students should contact Disability Support Services to request an accommodation.

B.  If a request to wear or have others wear a Clear Face Covering is granted by the College, the College will supply the Clear Face Covering(s).

C.  Requests for accommodations due to medical or disability reasons must be supported by documentation from a health care provider.

D.  Accommodations are not guaranteed, and the decision to provide an accommodation will be made at the College’s sole discretion following an interactive process.

E.  Processing Requests for Accommodation

1.  Requests for accommodations to the requirements in the Policy and this Procedure may take up to fourteen (14) days to process.

2.  Decision Makers

a.  Requests for accommodation submitted by Employees will be decided by the Executive Director of HR.

b.  Requests for accommodation for disability or medical reasons submitted by Students will be decided by Disability Support Services staff.

c.  Requests for accommodation for religious reasons submitted by Students will be decided by a panel of three (3) staff members within the Office of the Dean of Student Development.

3.  After an accommodation request has been reviewed and processed, the Employee or Student will be notified via email to their College-issued email account if an accommodation has been approved or denied.

4.  Unless and until an accommodation is approved, the Employee or Student will be required to wear a Face Covering as stated above.

 

F. Right to Appeal

1.  If an Employee or Student wishes to appeal a decision regarding a request for accommodation related to the Policy or this Procedure, the Employee or Student must submit an appeal via email to the Decision Maker listed below within three (3) calendar days of the decision being sent to the Employee or Student and include the reasons for the appeal:

a.  Employees Medical/Disability/Religious Appeals – Provost/Vice President of Learning

b.  Student Medical/Disability Appeals – Director of Disability Support Services

c.  Student Religious Appeals – Dean of Student Development

2.  If an appeal is not granted, the Employee or Student may appeal that decision by submitting an appeal via email to second level decision maker listed below within three (3) calendar days of the appeal decision being sent to the Clinical Participant and include the reasons for the appeal:

a.  Employees Medical/Disability/Religious Appeals – Provost/Vice President of Learning

b.  Student Medical/Disability Appeals – Director of Disability Support Services

c.  Student Religious Appeals – Dean of Student Development

3.  Appeal decisions made by the second level decision maker are final and cannot be appealed or grieved.

G. Recertification

1.  Accommodations will only be granted for one semester.

2.  If an Employee or Student is granted an accommodation, the notice will include an expiration date.

3.  The Employee or Student must file a request to recertify at least two (2) weeks prior to the expiration date.

Policy Title: Interim Procedure on Face Coverings

Policy Category: General

Policy Owner: President

Policy Administrator: Vice President of Learning Resources Management

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

Approval Date: August 23, 2022

Effective Date: August 23, 2022

History: Interim Procedure on Vaccination, Testing, and Face Coverings adopted on January 26, 2022; Revised and retitled on March 24, 2022; Revised on August 23, 2022

Applies to: All College employees, students, and visitors

Related Policies: Interim Policy regarding COVID-19

Related Procedures:

Forms/Guidelines:

Relevant Laws: N/A