WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Week three of school at Anacostia High and DCPS confirms members of the football team were placed on quarantine over the weekend after being possibly exposed to COVID-19. A staff member at Anacostia High told WUSA9 a handful of football players who were previously on quarantine have since returned to the school. “They told us to calm down and gave us tests,” said senior Jamal Washington, “they followed the proper protocol.”
There is no vaccine mandate for DCPS athletes but since high schoolers are among the group that can receive the vaccine, WUSA9 wanted to look at just how many young people are getting the shot and protecting themselves from the virus in some of our largest school districts.
WUSA9 examined D.C., Montgomery County and Fairfax County Public Schools. Our sources for this story: DC Health’s COVID dashboard, a spokesperson from Montgomery County Health and Human Services and FCPS Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand.
“Vaccination is our way out of the pandemic,” said Dr. Brabrand.
According to the superintendent, nearly 80% of 12 to 17-year-olds in Fairfax County Public Schools are vaccinated. Proof of vaccination will get quarantined students back to class sooner if they have no symptoms and starting in November all athletes must get the shot.
Athletes in Montgomery County Schools are also mandated to get a vaccine by Nov. 15 and staff will have to confirm their vaccinations by Oct. 29.
According to the county’s health spokesperson, between 75% and 83% of 12 to 17-year-olds are already vaccinated. MCPS parent Adam Zimmerman still believes schools should do more. “What MCPS needs to do, in my view, is take that one step further and require vaccination for all eligible students, whether they're student-athletes or not,” said Zimmerman.
While DCPS has improved its numbers thanks to 16 vaccination clinics in middle and high schools around the district, the city still has to catch up with just about 66% of 12-17-year-olds fully vaccinated.