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COVID-19 outbreak closes school in Carroll County

Northwest Middle School on virtual pause for two days
COVID-19 outbreak closes school in Carroll County
Posted at 4:14 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 07:58:58-04

TANEYTOWN, Md. — A case here or a case there.

Health officials in Carroll County expected COVID-19 to infect some students, but not like they’ve witnessed at Northwest Middle School in Taneytown.

“We have 19 and then we have three that we’re not really sure about,” said Carroll County Health Officer Ed Singer. “In this case, the thing that stirred this up a little bit is we wound up with one index case that wound up making a substantial number of people sick, and then those sick people actually got other people sick, and we really got concerned about this mushrooming.”

Singer says they have also seen cases across all the grade levels at the school and not limited to any specific classroom, grade or team.

The two-day return to virtual learning from home will allow time to conduct more contact tracing and to use a mobile health unit to do COVID testing at Northwest Middle and four of its feeder schools on Wednesday before allowing students to return to class.

While the Delta variant is highly-contagious, Singer says the robust school re-openings this fall also have increased the risk for such outbreaks.

“We’ve got a lot more kids in the school building and rightfully so. The emphasis is getting kids back in in-person learning,” said Singer. “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.”

The testing is only for students and staffs at those respective schools who have made appointments in advance.