Nearly 6% of Carroll County Public Schools students are in quarantine as of Wednesday afternoon after hundreds were added to the list in a matter of days.
The system’s dashboard that tracks COVID-19 cases and updates every Wednesday reported 214 people, including 10 staff members, have the virus and are in quarantine. Carey Gaddis, the system’s spokesperson, said today a separate 1,221 students, out of approximately 24,500 enrolled, are in quarantine after identifying as a close contact to someone with the virus.
Students at Northwest Middle School had to learn virtually Tuesday and Wednesday after the school temporarily closed due the number of COVID cases and concerns about close contacts. The school is scheduled to open Thursday and run as a regular day.
At the time, Northwest had 18 people who tested positive for the virus. The number of close contacts was unclear. However, Carroll County Health Officer Ed Singer said the health department typically sees about 10 to 15 close contacts for every COVID case.
He said the middle school had multiple outbreaks and cases among all grade levels.
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The state’s dashboard, which also updated on Wednesday, reported three of Carroll’s public schools had outbreaks, which is defined as when one person transmits the virus to another person in school. Elmer Wolfe Elementary’s outbreak had two people infected, Sykesville Middle had seven and Northwest Middle had 19.
CCPS’s dashboard, however, reports Northwest Middle had 20 COVID cases. The next highest number of COVID cases on the middle school level was Mount Airy with 13 cases.
On the elementary level, Manchester had 14 cases, Elmer Wolfe had 12 and both Ebb Valley and Winfield had 10.
For high schools, Manchester Valley had 15 cases, Francis Scott Key had 12 and Winters Mill had seven positive COVID cases.
Carroll was the only district in the region to start school without masks until a General Assembly committee implemented a universal mask mandate for the public schools a week later.
Carroll County as a whole continues to report higher coronavirus numbers than it had during the summer months. Last week the county health department reported a total of 161 community cases after reporting 149 the week of Sept. 5 and 205 the week of Aug. 29.
The county also continues to switch between the classifications of substantial and high COVID-19 community transmission, and the health department is working toward providing more access to testing for residents. On Tuesday, the county had high COVID-19 transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. As of Sunday, the CDC’s most recent data, it reported 107.45 cases per 100,000 residents in Carroll.