Mayo Elementary School in Edgewater is closed until Thursday due to a schoolwide COVID-19 outbreak, Anne Arundel County Public Schools announced Friday afternoon.
Schools spokesperson Bob Mosier said in the past two weeks 18 students and staff members, nearly 5% of the school’s population, have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the Anne Arundel County Department of Health to declare an outbreak. After talking with county health officials, the school system made the decision to close the building for five days, including for recreation programs and child care.
Students were told Friday afternoon to take their school-issued Chromebooks home and will learn virtually on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Closing the building Friday will minimize the amount of time students are out of the school, Mosier said. Buildings are closed Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and closing Friday allows Mayo Elementary to be closed during the weekend when there is no school.
Frequently touched surfaces will be disinfected in the building on Saturday, Mosier said.
Mosier said students will learn from their regular homeroom teachers on Tuesday and Wednesday. A copy of the virtual learning schedule can be found at aacps.org/studentschedules, and the system will send more information before Tuesday.
“As the omicron variant surges, schools are affected by the higher rates of community transmission,” Megan Pringle, spokesperson for the county health department, wrote in an email.
State guidance says schools can suspend in-person learning when there is evidence of substantial, uncontrolled spread, and when discussed with and agreed upon by local health officials.
The school system’s online COVID-19 dashboard shows that there are 12 students and two staff members with COVID-19 as of Friday at Mayo Elementary, but that figure does not encompass the same 14 days considered for the closure, Mosier said. The school’s enrollment was 347 for the 2020-21 academic year.
As of Friday 1,323 students and 107 staff members throughout Anne Arundel County Public Schools have COVID-19, according to the dashboard.