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Carroll County school COVID cases, quarantines increase after three weeks of declines

Carroll County Public Schools reported increases in COVID-19 cases and quarantines in the last week.

The school system’s COVID dashboard, which updates weekly on Wednesdays, reported 144 COVID cases this week, up from 134 last week. This week’s total includes eight staffers. The number of students in quarantine due to being a close contact to someone with the virus went from 340 to 407.

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The uptick comes after a three-week decline in which cases dropped from 248 to 134 and quarantines went from 1,405 to 340. Karl Streaker, director of student services, said last week the system’s new policy that spares students with no COVID-19 symptoms from quarantining if identified as a close contact to someone who tested positive for the virus was a factor.

He also said the overall case trend in the county can be a predictor of school numbers. However, the health department reported in a Tuesday news release that Carroll County COVID-19 cases continue to drop.

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Streaker said he anticipated the number of school cases would level off and did not foresee it dropping by hundreds each week as it had in previous weeks.

In this week’s report, case numbers on the elementary school level do not exceed five except for Friendship Valley, which has 11.

In middle schools, Sykesville has 13 cases, which more than doubles Northwest’s six cases — the second highest at that level.

And among high schools, Manchester Valley has nine case, which is one more than Winters Mill and three more than Century.

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The state dashboard that tracks in-school outbreaks, when one person transmits the virus to another person, showed four CCPS schools had outbreaks: Century High, Manchester Valley High, Mount Airy Middle and Shiloh Middle. Each outbreak involved two people, except for Manchester Valley which consisted of four.

The state’s dashboard updates every Wednesday as well but does not always reflect the same numbers as Carroll’s.

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