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Carroll Community College to close early for spring break, cancels March events amid coronavirus spread

Carroll Community College announced Friday that the college’s spring break would begin early, on Monday, and after the break, starting on March 30, the college will move to remote learning until April 12.

These changes are the latest among education institutions in Maryland in response to the spreading coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

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The college might extend remote learning if conditions warrant and the college will continue to communicate, the college said in a news release. All college-related events, both on and off of the campus, in March are canceled. Events scheduled in April and May are still being evaluated.

“The fluid nature of the COVID-19 Pandemic has once again become more turbulent,” the college stated in the release, which cited Gov. Larry Hogan’s directives announced Thursday designed to limit public exposure to the virus, which included a statewide closure of K-12 public schools for two weeks. Earlier that day, state officials announced that a Prince George’s County resident had contracted the virus through no directly known source of exposure, indicating that it is spreading in communities.

Carroll County’s government announced at about 1:45 p.m. Friday the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in the county.

A Hogan spokesman said Friday that five more people have tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Maryland to 17. As of Friday afternoon, the coronavirus had resulted in 33 deaths in the United States out of more than 1,200 people who have tested positive for the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University. The World Health Organization deemed the coronavirus a pandemic Wednesday.

“Students and employees will practice appropriate social distancing while on campus until further notice,” according to the release.

Starting March 30, the college will open student support services on the campus from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. to credit students. “All services including the testing center, open computer labs, the library, business office, tutoring etc. will be available on campus and remotely,” the college said in the release. Off-site clinical and internship learning will continue as scheduled, unless students are contacted by their instructor with alternative arrangements.

For continuing education students, some career training classes may move online starting March 30 after the spring break. Classes that are not able to move to an online format will be rescheduled. The college will send students details through email.

Personal Enrichment and Lifelong Learning classes will be canceled from March 16 through April 12. Classes will be rescheduled.

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Contract training clients will be contacted regarding alternative arrangements.

Non-credit ESOL and GED classes will not meet from March 16 through April 12. Makeup sessions will be scheduled; those students will be contacted via email with additional details.

For faculty and staff, the college will continue operations until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, “so that employees can finalize preparations for remote operations. All employees will observe appropriate social distancing while on campus,” according to the release. The college closes for employees March 19 through March 29 as scheduled.

The college planned as of Friday to reopen for employees March 30 on normal schedule. “The possibility for teleworking is under review. Additional information and direction will be forthcoming to all staff.”

Those who have traveled to countries for which there is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel advisory level 2 through 4 are expected to self-quarantine off campus for 14 days. Employees should contact their area vice president. The CDC website continues to be updated with travel advisory information at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

"If you have traveled to Washington State, California, or New York since February 26th or plan to travel to these highly impacted areas of the U.S., please contact your area Vice President to determine if upon return you should consider self-quarantine for 14 days. "

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The college asked the community to check email and the college website frequently for updates as the situation evolves.

“We are all dealing with an unprecedented situation. We appreciate your patience and flexibility. Your safety and well-being remain our top priority. For additional information and updates, visit https://www.carrollcc.edu/covid-19/” the college wrote in the release.

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