Two Washington County high schools see uptick in COVID cases


WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Over the last few weeks, two schools in Washington County have recorded the highest number of active cases in the entire state.

As of Wednesday, April 14, the Maryland Department of Health has reported 18 active cases of COVID-19 at Williamsport High School and 14 active cases at Boonsboro High School.

A spokesperson for Washington County Public Schools told us the uptick in cases is a reflection of the county. As of April 16, Washington County has a positivity rate of almost 7 percent.

According to the Maryland Department of Health, beginning on March 17, 2021, the daily positivity percentage in the state of Maryland began to increase to around 4 percent from 3.4 percent. Since then, the state has hovered around a positivity rate of 5 percent.

Also starting on March 17, 2021, the daily positivity percentage in Washington County has been consistently higher than the state average by at least 1 to 2 percentage points. From March 17th to April 16th, the county has seen a daily positivity percentage range from 5.6 percent to 9.3 percent.

Erin Anderson, Public Information Officer for WCPS, explained that the school district has a designated COVID contact tracing team that works to ensure the safety of students and staff while they are learning in person. School principals review school bus footage as well as footage from the cafeteria to ensure that the proper individuals are notified if they have actually come into close contact with another person who has tested positive.

“In our experience, we have found and we have actually followed that students and staff are involved in activities outside of school and outside of the school day and that’s where they actually catch COVID-19 and then they come to school,” Anderson said. “Because of our health and safety protocols, because of the controls that we have in place, it doesn’t spread within our schools.”

WCPS is currently in Stage Four of their Return to Learn plan, meaning that students are learning in the classroom 5 days a week. Distance learning is offered to students who are not comfortable returning to the classroom.

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