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More than 400 Carroll County kids receive COVID vaccine as case numbers rise in schools

The number of positive COVID-19 cases at Carroll County Public Schools continues to rise as parents begin taking their 5- through 11-year-olds to be vaccinated for the first time.

CCPS’s weekly dashboard, which updates every Wednesday, showed the number of positive coronavirus cases rose from 164 to 193, making it the third consecutive week of increases. Of the 193 people who tested positive, seven are staff members. The number of people in quarantine also increased this week from 508 to 586.

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Maggie Kunz, health planner for Carroll County Health Department, said on Wednesday that 486 kids were vaccinated on Monday, the first day the department held a clinic for the age group. She said the maximum they could have inoculated was 500, however, a few families canceled.

She said the health department next clinic is Saturday, and she expects it to fill up.

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To register children for the vaccine, go to cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19-vaccination-for-children/. On the site, users can click on the date they want to attend and fill out the digital form. Here are the clinic dates:

  • Saturday at Winters Mill High School from 12 to 4:30 p.m. The second dose is Dec. 4.
  • Nov. 20 at South Carroll High School from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The second dose is Dec. 11.
  • Dec. 15 at Manchester Volunteer Fire Department Social Hall from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. The second dose is Jan. 5.
  • Dec. 16 at Winfield Volunteer Fire Department Social Hall from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. The second dose is Jan. 6.

Across the state, more than 18,000 Maryland parents lined up to get their children inoculated against COVID-19 in the first few days since those ages 5 to 11 became eligible.

Some parents did not hesitate to register their children. Kate Fisher of Westminster was one of them. She scheduled an appointment for the Monday clinic so her 8- and 10-year-olds can be vaccinated.

Fisher said not only did her autoimmune disease influence her vaccine decision, but also the grandparents and great grandparents in her family, as well as a best friend whose son is fighting Leukemia.

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“It’s about helping keep the people around us safe, too,” she said.

But not everyone believes children should be vaccinated, like Karen Sparks of Finksburg who has a nine-year-old son.

“My reasons are quite simple,” she said. “Children are at an extremely low risk of hospitalization and extreme illness from COVID.”

Most of all, she said, people she knows vaccinated people who have died from the virus.

“So why take on an unknown risk to my child for a benefit that doesn’t even seem to exist?” Sparks said.

Karl Streaker, CCPS director of student services, said last week he does not anticipate a vaccine mandate from the Maryland Department of Health or the Maryland State Department of Education for the newly eligible students.

CCPS students continue to test positive for COVID-19. On the elementary level, Sandymount had the highest number of cases at 18. The second highest was Friendship Valley with 16 and the third was Winfield at 11.

Northwest had the highest number of cases on the middle school level with nine, and both West and Shiloh middle schools had seven cases each.

Century High School had 11 people test positive for the virus, the highest on the high school level, while Manchester Valley had 10 and both South Carroll and Westminster had five each.

The state reports nine Carroll County Public Schools have outbreaks: Northwest Middle with 38 people impacted; Sandymount Elementary with 19; Friendship Valley Elementary and Manchester Valley High with six each; Century High and Shiloh Middle with five each; and Cranberry Station, Mount Airy Middle and Elmer A. Wolfe elementary with two people each.

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

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