Rising COVID-19 cases raise concern for students and faculty on campus


GLENDALE, Ariz. – As the fall semester begins on campus, there is still doubt for some returning in person due to rising COVID-19 cases. With the Delta variant sparking new fear in many people, Maricopa Community Colleges are doing their best to ensure that being on their campuses is as safe as possible.

Even with the enhanced measures that the campus is taking, the rise in cases may still cause concern. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, Maricopa County reported 2,611 new cases of COVID-19 on Sept. 3, 2021.

“There is a lot of uncertainty and even though I’m going to continue to social distance and wear a face mask, there is still this level of feeling uncomfortable,” said Mitchell Seedenburg, a student at GCC.

Seedenburg said he even reconsidered returning to in-person classes. But after witnessing the measures being taken on campus, he said that he did have a sense of ease about returning.

“All of my professors require students to wear face masks and my classmates are following the policy. There are occasionally a few people who walk without a mask outside between classes or when they are leaving, but inside every building, I have seen everyone wearing masks,” said Seedenburg.

Before the Fall semester began, Maricopa Community Colleges announced face coverings are required inside all public spaces on campus, and in large gatherings.  Masks are not required outdoors.

“I am impressed with how things are going on campus,” said Communications professor, Kelly Sindel. “100 percent of my students are completely compliant with wearing masks and even outside, I would say easily 80 percent of the students are wearing their masks just walking around.”

With the need to transfer courses online for COVID-19 in the spring semester of 2020, many students and faculty have longed to return to campus. For some, learning in a virtual environment is more of a hassle than it is helpful.

The virus lasting longer than anticipated, stricter rules and regulations accompany attending classes in person.

In-person classes are still at reduced capacity to maintain social distancing, and the maintenance faculty clean and disinfect the classrooms each night.

“I believe the campus is doing the best that they can do to mandate policies and keep the campus clean and comfortable for everyone,” Seedenburg said.

Glendale Community College is offering free vaccinations on Sept. 22. There is no cost to get a COVID-19 vaccination, and it is open to the public. Equality Health will be in the Student Union from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., offering Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna vaccinations. For more information on the safety measures Maricopa Community Colleges are taking to prevent COVID-19, visit https://together.maricopa.edu/returning-campus.