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Atlanta college reinstates COVID-19 mask mandate, social distancing as ‘precautionary measures’

Photo by DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images

On Monday, an Atlanta college announced it would reinstate a mask mandate and require students and faculty to social distance as “precautionary measures,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Morris Brown College, a private liberal arts college founded in 1881 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, recently announced on social media that all faculty and students would be required to wear masks again starting this fall semester.

“Effective immediately, Morris Brown College has reinstated its COVID-19 mask mandate due to reports of positive cases among students in the Atlanta University Center,” the announcement read, referring to the nonprofit coalition of historically black colleges.

Morris Brown College was previously a member of the Atlanta University Center Consortium until the college lost accreditation in 2002 after a former college president and former financial aid director misappropriated Department of Education funds. After nearly two decades, the college was again granted full accreditation in 2022.

The Monday announcement about reinstating the mask mandate included a list of other precautionary measures as well.

“Over the next 14 days, the following protocols will be in place,” the school stated. Safety measures included “physical distancing,” “no parties or large student events,” “isolation and quarantine,” and “contact tracing.”

Students were also instructed to monitor their symptoms, undergo regular temperature checks, and frequently wash their hands.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 are required to “isolate for at least 5 days and inform your instructor for virtual class arrangements.”

The school sent a letter Sunday informing staff and students of the two-week protocols.

“We prioritize your safety and seek your cooperation in preventing another pandemic,” the college wrote in the notification letter.

While COVID cases were reported within the Atlanta University Center, no cases have been reported at Morris Brown College, President Kevin James told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He noted that the protocols were “precautionary measures.”

James confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation that all students and faculty have been required to get the COVID-19 vaccine since 2021 to access campus facilities and attend in-person classes. The college allows exemptions for religious or medical reasons.

Morehouse College, a member institution of the AUCC, reported that its “current COVID alert level is green,” meaning the “prevalence of the virus is minimal.” The AUCC determines the alert level based on the number of new cases within the past seven days. Face masks are not currently required, and no restrictions have been implemented.

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