CARROLL COUNTY, Md. — Wednesday evening, the Carroll County Board of Education is scheduled to meet to discuss quarantine protocols for the school district regarding the coronavirus.
On Tuesday, the State Board of Education released new COVID-19 numbers. School systems have reported 4,042 confirmed COVID cases among students and nearly 700 cases among teachers and staff.
More than 16,000 students have been placed in quarantine since the start of the school year and Carroll County has been among those who have been hit the hardest. Click here for the latest numbers for Carroll County. They're expected to be updated on September 29.
The latest numbers, which were released on September 22, stated there have been 204 positive COVID cases among students and 10 among staff members.
Just last week, hundreds of students had to stay home after an outbreak at Northwest Middle School. There were 19 separate cases spread across all three grade levels with no obvious connection.
The solution was for 600 students to go back to virtual learning while more contact tracing was done and to allow for a mobile health unit to do more testing.
WMAR-2 News talked with a senior at Francis Scott Key High School, where students there have siblings at Northwest Middle. Ashley Witcher said she wants more options to stay safe and to still excel if she has to quarantine.
She said, "we should have at least had a backup method, a plan, because for the kids who have to quarantine they’re just handed papers and they’re given their laptops to go on schoology.”
How to improve the quarantine process will be discussed in Wednesday's meeting. The meeting is happening at 5:00 p.m. at the Board of Education offices, located at 125 North Court Street in Westminster.
The Carroll County Health Officer, Ed Singer, stressed with the highly contagious delta variant and schools being reopened this fall, there's just a higher risk for outbreaks.
He said, "we’ve got a lot more kids in the school building and rightfully so. The emphasis is getting kids back in in-person learning, but there’s a lot more opportunity for kids to be in close contact with each other and for students to transmit it from one person to another."