New Anne Arundel County COVID-19 restrictions do not affect college


Photo illustration by Summer Cox

Anne Arundel County and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s stepped-up COVID-19 restrictions will not affect the college’s plans for this fall or the upcoming spring semester. 

Johannes Haasbroek, Editor-in-Chief

Stricter rules for businesses and social gatherings announced over the past few weeks by the governor and Anne Arundel County will not affect the collegeAACC officials said in November. 

Dan Baum, AACC’s executive director of strategic communicationstold Campus Current Anne Arundel County and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s stepped-up COVID-19 restrictions will not affect the college’s plans for the fall or upcoming spring semester. 

At our Recovery Team meeting [in November], we discussed … [the] state and county announcements,” he explained. “Neither have changed our assumptions or approach for the current semester or winter and spring planning.”  

Hogan ordered restaurants and bars to close at 10 p.m. and retail business and churches to revert to Stage 2, which means they may fill to 50% capacity. In Stage 3, the state allowed them to fill to 75% capacity.    

Anne Arundel County also imposed new COVID-19 limits. As of Nov. 14, the maximum number of people permitted at a social gathering in the county is 10 indoors and 25 outdoors. The county also cut the maximum capacity for restaurants, bars, down from 50% to 25%. 

Baum said the new restrictions are related to bars and restaurants and will not affect classes at the college. 

“Every time the governor or the county executive makes an announcement, we review very carefully to see if we are impacted,” he explained.  “In this case we were not. 

“We had taken the additional step in planning for the spring [and] we put a cap on the on the size of the classes in anticipation of what has typically during COVID been the lowest number,” he added. 

The county also suspended youth athletics on Nov. 16AACC’s on-campus fall sports practices ended on Dec. 3, instead of Dec. 14 as planned.  

AACC Athletic Director Duane Herr said the rising number of COVID-19 cases was one of the reasons the college decided to end practices early, even though the country restriction did not apply to college sports. 

We’ve been pretty fortunate … [and] we got a lot accomplished in the time that we had,” he explained. “We feel good separating [now] … and [are] just looking towards the spring to bring our athletes back. Hopefully the coronavirus cases can start to fall and people can remain healthy through our winter break and into the holidays.” 

Herr said the cold weather and upcoming final exams were also factors in the college’s decision to cut the season short. 

Some students said they support the new state and county restrictions. 

“I had COVID, so I understand how bad it is,” Suzanne Matthews, a third-year physical therapist assistant student, said. “I literally couldn’t breathe for two months. So, trying to keep people safe, I can very much understand it.” 

Third-year transfer studies student Adrianna Gonzalez agreed. 

“People are sick [and] people are dying,” she explained. “If you want to keep the pandemics under control, with … people that don’t really … listen, you have to do what you have to do.” 

Other students said the new restrictions forced them to make changes. 

Korean Culture Club President Moriah Thompson said her young adult Bible study group can no longer meet indoors, so it meets outside. 

“It was like 48 degrees outside,” Thompson, a second-year premedical student, said. “We were  outside for like two hours. That’s not very comfortable.”