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COVID-19 vaccine mandates and mandatory masking in schools continue to be issues for Board of Education candidates

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There are a great number of people that believe COVID-19 vaccine mandates and mandatory masking in schools are no longer issues for most Board of Education candidates. Two jurisdictions (not far away from Carroll County) have proven that these issues still exist as we head into the 2022-2023 school year.

Relating to Vaccine Mandates: Reported by The Daily Signal on August 25th: DC Mayor Says No Virtual Learning, Giving Unvaccinated Black Teens Zero Alternative Options

Noted in that article:

An Aug. 25 press release from the District of Columbia Public Schools’ website reads, “The Coronavirus Immunization of School Students and Early Childhood Workers Amendment Act of 2021, which the Council passed in 2021, requires students ages 12 and older to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to attend school.” The mandate also applies to students attending D.C. private schools.

Relating to Mandatory Masking in Schools: Prince George’s County Public Schools will return to a mandatory mask policy in all schools and facilities effective August 15th

Noted in that article:

In light of the highly contagious COVID-19 BA.5 variant, Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) will return to a mandatory mask policy in all schools and facilities until further notice, effective Monday, August 15. This decision was recommended by the Prince George’s County Health Department.

A review of the PG County Public Schools website this morning still has mandatory masking listed for the upcoming school year (at this time).

https://www.pgcps.org/about-pgcps/back-to-school

COVID-19 metrics to follow have changed a great deal over the past two and a half years. We used to follow positivity rates, then hospitalizations, then it was percentage of the jurisdiction the was fully vaccinated….now today we follow the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels that tell us how bad COVID is affecting an area or community.

Carroll County current COVID-19 Community Level is listed as “Medium” as of August 25, 2022.

Five jurisdictions in Maryland are listed as “High” COVID-19 Community Level:

  • Allegany County
  • Garrett County
  • Kent County
  • Somerset County
  • Wicomico County

Data available here: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view?list_select_state=Maryland&data-type=CommunityLevels&list_select_county=24013&null=CommunityLevels

If past trends (over the last 2 1/2 years) hold true this year, we are likely to see spikes in positivity rates and hospitalizations during the upcoming winter months (usually rising October through January and beginning to fall off in February and March)

Data available here: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/

While many may want to not have this discussion during this election season, with two jurisdictions close by dealing with vaccine mandates and mandatory masking in schools PLUS the likelihood of increased COVID cases this winter (again, if the past trends holds true in 2022) the question of where Board of Education candidates stand on these topics should continue to be discussed in the 2022 election cycle.

Agree…disagree….let me know why in the comments.

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