After one week of school and after one day with mandated masks, Carroll County Public Schools report 136 people in its buildings have COVID-19 and are in quarantine.
The public school system’s COVID dashboard tracks cases and symptoms but now also shows positive cases and people in quarantine.
The interface, which updates weekly on Wednesdays, first posted data last week showing 91 people with the virus and in quarantine after the first day of school on Sept. 8. There were 13 staff and 78 people on the list. This week, only 5 staff have the virus but so do 131 students.
The dashboard reflects active confirmed positive cases for each week. And, as a result, the students and staff listed as positive are in quarantine. Once they have completed the protocol to return to school, their cases are not considered active.
On the elementary level, two schools had no COVID cases: William Winchester and Linton Springs. Cranberry Station had the most a this level with seven cases. Ebb Valley, Runnymede and Westminster had six, and Manchester had five.
For middle schools, Northwest had the most with eight, Mount Airy had seven and North Carroll had six. Crossroads had zero.
And for high schools, Manchester Valley had 14, which is double the amount of cases at Westminster and Winters Mill — the second highest on the high school level.
CCPS started the school year without a mask mandate and were only one of two in the state to do so. However, on Tuesday, a joint General Assembly committee voted 10-7 to make mask a universal mandate in the public schools.
During the meeting, Carroll parents and school board members shared testimonies on the measure. Three of the board members, Marsh Herbert, Ken Kiler and Donna Sivigny, advocated to keep masks optional.
After the vote, Herbert released a statement saying she was “disappointed and disheartened” by the result but said they would comply.
“Several of our board members and many of our Carroll County citizens presented compelling testimony as to why this is not a good decision,” she said. “Today’s action definitely takes away local control and strongly affects parent choice.”
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The mandate, which requires masking for students, staff and visitors, went into affect at CCPS on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Carey Gaddis, spokesperson for the school system, said if students refuse to comply, school staff will work with the parent to make sure the student does not miss school.
“If the student still refuses, it will be considered disruptive to the instructional environment and we will take disciplinary action,” she said. “That action will be up to the principal.”