COVID-19 | Howard County Public Schools cancels in-person activities through Jan.7
Click the audio to hear from Howard County Executive Dr. Calvin Ball
Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, Howard County Public Schools has canceled all in-person activities though January 7.
According to school officials, since the Thanksgiving break, positive COVID-19 cases have increased at an alarming rate.
As of Wednesday morning, nearly 300 positive COVID cases have been reported in schools within three days.
Currently, 3,720 students and 146 staff members are in quarantine.
“Throughout this pandemic, we have continued to work with the Howard County Health Officer Dr. Maura Rossman and her team at the Howard County Health Department (HCHD) to review positive case rates, vaccination data, coordinate efforts, and seek guidance as we have considered decisions related to school system operations. It is absolutely essential that we do all we can to keep schools open and ensure each school remains a healthy learning environment for students and staff. The escalation in positive cases has put a strain on school health staff to accurately identify and complete close contact communications in an efficient manner. In fact, the current number of cases in many of our schools has become challenging from a notification standpoint. In an effort to slow the spread of the virus and keep schools open, HCPSS is implementing temporary mitigation strategies, effective immediately,” said Superintendent Michael J. Martirano Ed.D.
The following in-person activities are suspended immediately through Jan. 15, 2022, with a reevaluation on Jan. 7, 2022, to determine if an extension is necessary:
- Athletic practices and contests
- Theater rehearsals and performances
- School concerts and performances
- Extracurricular activities
- Field trips
“We must all be part of the solution to stem the spread of this virus, keep schools open, and be able to participate in the social and recreational activities we all enjoy. Our actions over the course of the coming weeks can play a direct role in reducing case rates and allowing a safe return to these activities. Please do your part to keep our school communities safe, healthy and nurturing environments for all students and staff,” Martirano stated.