MARYLAND — As more students head back into the classroom, we're seeing more outbreaks in schools. Since the state began tracking numbers in October of 2020, there have been outbreaks at 216 Maryland schools.
There are three levels of what the state considers an outbreak. There are two cases related to each other, at least three classrooms/cohorts with cases from separate households or at least five percent of the entire school population has confirmed COVID-19 within a 14-day period.
The 43 schools on the list have at least two confirmed cases, that can be either a student or staff member. Even though it's a small portion of people who actually tested positive for the coronavirus, everyone who's in their classroom/cohort has to quarantine for two weeks. So much more of the school is back to virtual learning. The school is removed from the outbreak list on the Maryland Department of Health's website once health officials confirm the 14-day quarantine passed with no new cases or pending results.
Of the 43 schools with outbreaks, Baltimore County has the most in our area with 13 schools impacted. There are 58 cases spread throughout those 13 schools.
Harford, Howard and Montgomery counties each have three schools on the list. Baltimore City has three schools on the list as well. One of the Baltimore City schools, Bnos Yisroel of Baltimore, has ten cases. That's one of the higher numbers in our area.
There are two schools with more than 20 cases, Stephen Decatur High School in Worcester County has 24 cases and Williamsport High School in Washington County has 22 cases.
The good news though, the CDC says in-person learning has not contributed to substantial community outbreaks.
Maryland has been one of the slowest states to return to in-person learning, despite the effort to get kids back in the classroom sooner. Prince George's County was the last school district to start bringing kids back. That happened on April 6 and, so far, they haven't had any issues.