Masks Required For One Class in One MCPS Elementary School Until the End of This Week Following COVID-19 Outbreak

A letter was sent home by Rosemary Hills Elementary School principal Rebecca Irwin Kennedy informing the school community of a mask requirement for one class at the Silver Spring school. The letter stated that three or more individuals tested positive for COVID-19 In the past 10 days and that the school is taking the steps to keep the school environment as safe as possible, including the requirement of masks for the one class. Per the letter, “Additional KN95 masks have been distributed and students and staff in identified classes or activities will be required to mask while in school for the next 10 days, except while eating or drinking. Masks will become optional again following the 10 day period.”

MCPS spokesperson Christopher Cram that there are four reported cases in one Pre-K class and per CDC guidance for an outbreak there will masking in that one classroom until the end of this week. Cram also sent us the following, from the MCPS Medical Officer:

“This year we are no longer requiring online reporting of positive COVID-19 cases and maintaining a districtwide dashboard.  Staff and students now report absences due to COVID-19 directly to their school or program, who notify our office of possible classroom outbreaks. We work with schools to determine risk, identify temporary mitigation strategies, and to report outbreaks as required through the county health department. These procedures have not changed since last year.  Since the first day of school, we have had several schools report classroom outbreaks.  In these cases, we remind positive staff and students of CDC recommendations for isolation and exposure, and notify staff and families with students affected by the outbreak of any required temporary measures.  The Montgomery County Department of Health continues to keep a COVID-19 dashboardincluding multiple community metrics, and also monitors COVID-19 levels in wastewater.  Though hospital admission rates remain in LOW risk status for our county, we continue to monitor these data and absence rates carefully, as a modest rise in infectious illness is typical of this time of year.”

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