AUCC Covid-19 Guidelines Modified for 2022-2023 Academic Year
Morehouse has relaxed their COVID-19 guidelines to reflect the CDC’s stance, which raises concerns for faculty and staff.
By Jalen Brown, News Editor
Students who test positive for Covid-19 must self-isolate inside their residential houses with their non-vaccinated roommates, per the latest guidance from the Atlanta University Center Consortium’s (AUCC) science team.
Vaccinated students with positive roommates will not have to isolate themselves, unlike non-vaccinated students who must quarantine for at least five days alongside their positive roommates, according to the protocols released on the AUCC website.
Last year, Morehouse College moved students who tested positive for Covid-19 to Benjamin E. Mays House, where they were quarantined until they received a negative test result.
Fulton County reported 2,068 new coronavirus cases on Aug. 17, and Georgia remains the fifth-highest state in the country for monkeypox cases. City officials in South Fulton even recently reinstated the mask ordinance due to this surge. With nearly 10,000 students arriving at the Atlanta University Center (AUC) this past week, many with pre-existing respiratory illnesses, some say these regulations are not strong enough to maintain everyone’s safety.
“This policy makes it a lot more stressful because now I have to watch out for my roommate and myself,” said Amir Makle, ’26. He believes it’d be challenging for students who test positive to stay inside their rooms since they’ll hear others talking and laughing right outside their door.
Calib James, ‘26, is concerned about Covid-positive students using the communal bathrooms and showers.
“They should have continued with the policy last year — which was going into Mays and quarantining there — instead of quarantining in the room and potentially getting the whole floor sick,” James said.
“I don’t think they can accommodate everybody,” said Nathaniel House, ’26. “They have a really big 700+ class this year.”
In response to this notion, Provost Kendrick Brown acknowledged the challenges in housing but urged that Morehouse is continuing to take precautions.
“I will definitely tell you that we’re challenged in terms of housing. We have a large number of students who’ve come in, so the policy is going to be different this year than last year,” Provost Brown said. “But I know that we are taking some precautions in making sure that we curtail the spread of Covid-19 if something does happen.”
Professor Mikki Harris told The Maroon Tiger that a student contacted her on the first day of class, saying he tested positive for Covid-19 and must self-isolate.
Unlike last year, the College did not notify her that one of her students tested positive for the virus.
This policy change “puts a number of people at risk, on all levels, especially if the individual may not have an issue but may carry it to someone else who does, as we know happens with this virus,” Harris said.
Harris also noted that the AUCC’s current policy reflects the CDC’s relaxed national guidelines. These loosened guidelines have drawn criticism from health experts and advocates around the country, who believe that the health agency is prioritizing keeping kids in school and adults in the office.
But in light of student and faculty critiques, Dean Michael Turner reassured The Maroon Tiger that these guidelines will be modified in the coming weeks.
“[The College’s isolation policy] is based upon the AUCC’s science team at the Morehouse School of Medicine reviewing current CDC guidelines, as well as looking at similar institutions across the nation for a best practices comparison to determine how we’d make some amendments and adjustments to our policies and guidance,” Turner said. “Policies are subject to change based upon changes to national guidance as well as the changing environment within the Atlanta University Center Consortium, Incorporated.”