Montgomery County reports 50 COVID-19 contact investigations since start of school year

Maryland

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — With public schools in Montgomery County closed, some private schools have still opened their doors to students and potential COVID-19 exposure.

“We’ve had over 50 contact investigations involving schools. The overwhelming majority of them have been non-public schools. A couple of them have been affiliated with MCPS staff,” said the county’s chief health officer Dr. Travis Gayles.

For those cases involving Montgomery County Public Schools staff, they were working in school buildings without students inside.

Last week, MCPS issued a letter to staff letting them know talks to discuss a return to limited in-person instruction were set to resume in the near future.

14 of the last 24 investigations across public and non-public schools have returned negative results and ended up being another illness that wasn’t COVID-19.

During investigations at non-public or private schools, the county says most parents have been cooperative, but a few haven’t been so willing.

“There have been a small number of instances where parents have refused to participate and have also called into question the guidance from health department staff in terms of their children, or themselves, needing to quarantine,” said Dr. Gayles.

Right now, the names of the schools in question aren’t being released. Dr. Gayles says the state doesn’t have plans to release them, but Montgomery County is working on a strategy.

“We’ve been discussing locally how best to represent that data, and we have people on our team working to build an interface to collect that data and present it in a more comprehensive manner,” said Dr. Gayles.

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