Carroll County Times
Carroll County Education

Number of COVID cases in Carroll schools, vaccinated children increase; fewer are in quarantine

The number of people with COVID-19 in Carroll County Public Schools this week increased for a sixth time while quarantine numbers dropped by nearly half.

The system’s weekly dashboard, which tracks the number of COVID cases and people in quarantine, reported 239 people have the virus, including four staff members. Last week, 211 had it. The number of people in quarantine for being in close contact with someone who tested positive is 325. Last week, that number was 605.


Karl Streaker, director of student services, said he is not certain what contributed to the quarantine declines. However, “we do know that while school was closed during Thanksgiving break, students did not have the opportunity to be close contacts to peers in school who tested positive for COVID,” he said.


The rise in the number of school cases this week differs from the rate in the community. The Carroll County Health Department reported 227 new COVID-19 cases last week after reporting 254 the week of Nov. 14 and 224 the week of Nov. 7. As of Tuesday, 73 new community cases have been reported this week.

Carroll’s testing positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that returned positive results over the past seven days, is at 9.2%, an increase from the 7.61% reported last Tuesday.

As the positivity rate rises, so does the number of 5 to 11 year-olds receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Maggie Kunz, health planner for the health department, said 2,216 5- to 9-year-olds in the county have received at least one dose of the vaccine. So far, 22% of that age group, as well as 58% of 10 to 19-year-olds, have received at least one dose, according to the agency.

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The availability of vaccines for young students was a reason Carroll County school board members called for the state’s universal mask mandate in schools to be lifted. Members of legislative District 5 team made the same request.

Sen. Justin Ready, a Carroll County Republican, posted a letter to his social media Tuesday that he said was sent by the delegation to the Maryland State Board of Education supporting the Carroll school board’s resolution calling for the mask mandate to be rescinded.

“With treatment options and vaccinations available to children 5 and older, it is time to restore authority to local school boards to make these decisions,” the letter, signed by Ready, and Republican Dels. Susan Krebs, April Rose and Haven Shoemaker, stated.

The state school board met Wednesday afternoon to revisit the mandate and concluded, in a 12-2 vote, that a new masking plan be drafted that will include ways for systems to lift the mandate. As of now, the mandate is in effect until Feb. 15.


In Carroll County, Cranberry Station has the most COVID cases among elementary schools with 18, while Manchester has 12 and Sandymount 10.

Shiloh has the most cases among middle schools with seven; Northwest, Sykesville, and Mount Airy each have six cases.

Winters Mill has 17 cases, nearly twice as many as the next highest high school, Manchester Valley, which has nine. South Carroll and Century each have eight cases.