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Howard County parents plan rally to end mask mandate in schools

School Board to discuss "off-ramps" to mandate
Posted at 8:07 AM, Feb 10, 2022

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — As Covid numbers continue to fall in Maryland, parents in one local school system are planning a rally Thursday night to encourage the school board to end the mask mandate.

The Howard County Board of Education also has a quarterly agenda meeting Thursday night. On its agenda is the question of those "off-ramps" to end the mask mandate in schools.

State lawmakers approved the state board's plan for what conditions have to be met in order for local jurisdictions to end the mandate. These include if 80 percent of the people in a county are vaccinated or if 80 percent of all students or staff at a school are vaccinated.

Right now, the only county in the area which meets that vaccination requirement is Howard County.

Meanwhile, the Howard County Public School System has not ended its mask mandate. During a Covid press conference on Tuesday, Governor Hogan was asked his thoughts about getting rid of mask mandates in schools.

“We've taken some statewide actions when we thought they were necessary but at this point we are making recommendations to the State Board of Education which is also independent. But, folks that represent the entire state say they think it's time we take a look,” Hogan said.

The CDC has a map of areas showing high transmission rates. The entire state of Maryland is in red, which means high.

However, Howard County is the only school system in our area which has met the criteria for ending the mask mandate in schools.

There is no statewide mask mandate in indoor places in Maryland. Baltimore City is the only jurisdiction in the area with an indoor mask mandate. The State Board of Education meets monthly to talk about Covid metrics.

It will do meet this month on February 22nd.

Howard County parents aren't waiting for the next Covid meeting. They are planning to be at Thursday’s quarterly agenda meeting with a rally to end the mask mandate now.