Anne Arundel County Public Schools released figures Wednesday showing that 84 students and four teachers are positive for COVID-19, or presumed positive, a week into the return of fully in-person learning.
The school system said 570 students are in quarantine as of Wednesday. There are more than 50 schools listed on the school system’s COVID Dashboard, most with between one and three cases among students. Old Mill High School has five student cases, the most of any school, and Chesapeake High School has 4.
Of the 84 student cases, 41 are at elementary schools, 17 are at middle schools, 22 are at high schools and one is at a special center.
Four teachers have tested positive or are presumed positive for COVID-19 and are quarantining. If a person shows COVID-like symptoms but doesn’t provide a medical explanation or a negative COVID test, they are presumed positive.
Vaccination is a big factor when the system is tracing how an infected person came into contact with others. If a person is vaccinated and they have been in close contact with a case, they do not need to quarantine.
People who aren’t vaccinated must quarantine for 10 days after coming into contact with a case. Vaccines are not approved for children younger than 12.
On Tuesday, County Health Officer Nilesh Kalyanaraman said fewer students in seventh to 12th grade have needed to quarantine, as they can be vaccinated.
“The only way we are going to get that down is by folks getting vaccinated,” he said. “Really implore you to get your kids vaccinated if they are eligible. It’s going to protect them and it’s going to keep them in the classroom and it’s going to keep them engaged and it’s going to keep parents, allow parents to go to work.”
Before the school year began, the system said it would send work home with quarantined kids and offer two hours a day of time with a virtual teacher, who will also be helping others in respective grade levels across the district. Schools spokesman Bob Mosier said that virtual office hours program for quarantined kids started Monday.
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The school system has said it will update its website weekly with information about how many cases have been detected among students and staff and how many people are quarantining as a result, or because of a close contact with a case.