LA PLATA, Md. – Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is updating some of its COVID-19 operating procedures that address quarantined students, and spectator capacities at indoor events. These updates take effect this month as CCPS continues to work with both the local and state health departments to monitor public health conditions and COVID-19 data.
The school system is also reviewing its COVID-19 operating procedures to possibly expand field trip opportunities, adjust lunch schedules for students, add additional indoor events and expand its volunteer program to allow more visitors into schools. CCPS will share any operating updates as determined.
New student-to-student classroom COVID-19 exposure quarantine procedures start Nov. 22
Effective Monday, Nov. 22, are new quarantine guidelines for student-to-student COVID-19 exposure in a prekindergarten through Grade 12 classroom. The new guidance supports additional in-person instructional access for students who are exposed to COVID-19 if the exposure meets certain criteria.
New quarantine criteria
• If a prekindergarten through Grade 12 student is exposed to a positive COVID-19 student in a classroom or on a school bus and was wearing a mask, the student will not be required by CCPS to quarantine. Parents will be encouraged to have their child tested five to seven days after the exposure, or if their child starts to show symptoms.
• If an unvaccinated student has had a positive COVID-19 test result in the past 90 days and is exposed again within that 90-day period, the student does not need to quarantine.
No other CCPS contact tracing or quarantine processes are changing. CCPS will continue to quarantine students exposed at school during times when masks are not worn, such as when eating or during recess, unless they are fully vaccinated. Parents may be asked to verify their child’s vaccination status.
Students who are exposed to COVID-19 outside of a CCPS classroom, during extracurricular activities or athletics, at home or in the community will still be required to quarantine. Parents of students who are exposed outside of the classroom setting should continue to report to their child’s school when their child has been exposed to a person who is COVID-19 positive. Vaccinated students do not have to quarantine but parents should consider testing their vaccinated child five to seven days after exposure.
CCPS is updating its quarantine guidance for classroom student exposure after the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland State Department of Education shared modified school quarantine guidance earlier this month. The new criteria is highlighted in the CCPS standard operating procedures posted at www.ccboe.com.
Indoor event capacity moves back to 100 percent Nov. 29
Effective Monday, Nov. 29, CCPS will return to its normal capacity of 100 percent spectator access for indoor high school extracurricular activities, such as athletics and performing arts events. Any spectator or visitor to a CCPS building must wear a face mask. For most of November, CCPS limited indoor high school event capacity to 50 percent through monitored ticket sales.
Superintendent Maria Navarro said the recent quarantine and capacity updates support a gradual return to school experiences for students and staff.
“We continue to work with our health partners to monitor COVID-19 cases, and local and state data. In recent weeks, CCPS has seen a decrease in positive COVID-19 cases from classroom or bus-related exposures. Now that a COVID-19 vaccine is available for most school-aged children, CCPS will continue to look at resuming as many normal school-related activities and opportunities as possible. We will remain flexible in adjusting our operating procedures as health conditions warrant. We continue to encourage our staff and families to talk to their doctor about vaccination options,” Navarro said.
Since the start of the 2021-22 school year on Aug. 30, CCPS has quarantined about 991 students and only about 2 percent have then tested positive for COVID-19. The updated student-to-student quarantine guidelines are included in the most recent version of the CCPS COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) document posted at www.ccboe.com.