AACC to discontinue mandate on May 19


Ava Moore

First-year transfer studies students Arnold Beck and Kestrel Watson mask up on the Quad.

Zack Buster, Associate Editor

AACC will continue to require students and employees to wear masks inside of campus buildings until May 19.

However, the college on March 9 ended its requirement for those who come to campus to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine or a negative weekly COVID-19 test.

“Anne Arundel County is no longer considered a high or substantial risk for COVID-19,” Lindsay said in an email to the campus community. “We continue to strongly encourage vaccinations and boosters as an added safeguard for individuals and our community.”

The announcement came a few days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overrode its previous recommendation that everyone wear a mask indoors.

The CDC announced in March that people in low-risk areas, like Anne Arundel County, do not need to wear masks.

College officials have said in the past they would base their decisions about masking and vaccination requirements on CDC guidelines. CDC’s latest recommendation is that “people should stay up to date with their vaccines and get tested if they’re sick.”

Some students reacted to the news with skepticism.

“I’m very skeptical about getting rid of the vaccine mandate,” first-year engineering student Sam Frederick said. “It could result in a sharp increase of COVID cases.”

Second-year architecture student Marcelino Ramos said the college should
continue to require masks in campus buildings.

“In classroom environments people are very close to one another,” Ramos said. “Then they don’t really have the ability to find out who’s … vaccinated or unvaccinated.”

Grace Blanchfield, a first-year nursing transfer student, agreed.

“The classes are really crowded and it’s going to make people uncomfortable,” Blanchfield said.

Others, however, welcomed the college’s decision to lift the vaccine and mask requirements.

“[The] vaccine requirement should … be optional,” first-year pre-med student Johnathan Dang said. “I honestly feel that we should have more freedom”

In an informal Campus Current poll of 40 students, 29 said they want masks to be optional.

Dustin Tripp, a graduating information technology networking and security student, said he wants to get
back to normal.

“I’m kind of ready for it to stop,” Tripp said. “If everyone is vaccinated and … healthy, then we should probably get back to regular if we can.”