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Positive COVID-19 case reports double in Carroll County public schools since end of December

Nearly 1,200 positive COVID-19 cases were reported in Carroll County Public Schools this week, according to the CCPS COVID-19 dashboard, which is updated every Wednesday when schools are in session.

Positive cases reported include 1,125 students and 72 staff members.

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According to the school system, approximately 25,300 students attend Carroll County Public Schools, and the system employs about 3,300 staff.

The last time the school system reported case totals, on Dec. 22, the total number of positive cases was 617.

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In contrast, quarantine numbers have decreased from 1,307 on Dec. 22 to 772 this week, according to the dashboard.

At the high school level, Winters Mill has the highest number of cases at 71, followed by Century at 70 and Liberty at 63.

Numbers are lower on the middle school level, with Sykesville at 50, West at 42 and North Carroll at 35.

At the elementary school level, Piney Ridge has the highest number of cases at 49, followed by Linton Springs at 40 and Friendship Valley and Runnymede at 36.

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In late December, Superintendent Steve Lockard said the school system planned to continue to provide in-person, five-day-a-week instruction.

“We want to be as safe as possible, but we also need to provide consistency for our students,” Lockard said. “There have been times where there was a need to pause a particular program, or a particular classroom earlier in the fall. We will certainly consider that in collaboration with our health department but, by and large, we believe that we can continue to operate schools in-person five days a week.”

Prior to the holiday break, the school system reported nine consecutive weeks of increasing numbers in positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

The school system will continue to use strategies such as universal masking, hand washing, contact tracing and quarantining to reduce the spread of the virus, and said other methods will be enhanced, Lockard said.

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