PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — The big spike in COVID-19 cases in the DMV region appears to have peaked, according to figures from the region's health departments.
The COVID spike crested in Maryland on Jan. 8, according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard. The 7-day average stood at 16,163 new cases per day at the highest point. On Monday, Jan. 17, the average had fallen to 9,820.
In an effort to get back to normal, Prince George’s County Schools will return to in-person learning Tuesday for the first time since the Christmas break.
“By allowing us to go virtual for these past two weeks, it provided us adequate time for any positive cases from the holidays to subside," Dr. Monica Goldson, CEO of the Prince George's County School system, said in a telephone town hall last week.
Goldson outlined the steps the school system will take as classes restart Tuesday, which include:
- Distributing rapid test kits and KN95 masks to students and staff:One kit containing two tests will be available for each child enrolled in PGCPS. The distribution will be held at schools and offices. Students will be requested to test weekly in order to return to school the following week. Every Sunday, tests should be taken and results uploaded from Jan. 23- Feb. 27. Home test kits will be distributed biweekly until the end of February to facilitate this request.
- Randomly testing more students in weekly pools: Weekly testing capacity will double to 20% of students.
- Closing athletic events to fans through the end of January: Starting Tuesday, Feb.1, attendance at athletic events will be limited to 25% of building capacity. Athletes who are not vaccinated will continue to be tested weekly.
Goldson warned parents that transportation issues are likely to arise due to an ongoing shortage of school bus drivers.