Per MCPS: COVID-19 rates have been increasing in the Washington, D.C. region, according to the county health department. Within our school system, we have also seen the anticipated rise in COVID-19 cases since the return from Thanksgiving. As we head into winter break, here are a few reminders:
- Make sure to get the latest COVID-19 booster (now approved for kids as young as 6 months)
MCPS Vaccine Clinics this week
Montgomery County COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics
- Practice healthy habits that prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.
- Wear a mask to prevent spread of infection when experiencing flu/cold like symptoms or in high-risk exposure situations.
- Get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or a possible exposure. Free COVID-19 Testing
Additional information per MCPS: While Montgomery County is currently at a “low” COVID-19 community risk level, any increase is a cause for concern and careful monitoring. There are multiple steps we can take to reduce the impact of respiratory infections on our community, especially severe illness:
Stay up to date on vaccinations.
This year’s influenza (flu) vaccine and the new COVID-19 booster vaccine approved in September are both designed to protect against the currently circulating variants. Both help prevent severe illness and are approved down to 6 months of age. If it has been 2 months since your last COVID-19 vaccine dose, you may be eligible for the new booster vaccine.
Practice healthy habits that prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.
Good handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning shared and high-contact surfaces, and distancing from others when sick helps prevent transmission.
Wear a mask to prevent spread of infection in high risk situations.
Our county health department is strongly recommending a well-fitting face covering in crowded indoor spaces. If you have COVID-19 or have been exposed as a close contact, please mask according to CDC’s isolation and exposureguidelines. Staff and students may be asked to mask temporarily in local outbreak situations.
Get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or a possible exposure.
It may be difficult to tell if symptoms are from COVID-19 or another flu-like illness. Testing is an important way to identify individuals with active COVID-19 infection, who can then seek care if needed and also avoid spreading the virus to others. Staff and students testing positive should report their results using MCPS’ online tool. Reporting results helps us track outbreaks and take measures to reduce further transmission, when an outbreak occurs in our school spaces.
Seek treatment promptly if you are at high risk from a flu or COVID-19 infection.
People at high risk from a respiratory infection should strongly consider testing early, and seek advice from a health care provider if they have respiratory symptoms. Treatments are available that can help prevent complicated or severe disease, and are most helpful when given early.