Howard County schools delay potential return to in-person learning

With little improvement in its COVID-19 health metrics, Howard County Public Schools is bumping the date when in-person programs could resume.

The next possible date is Monday, Feb. 8. A decision on that would be made roughly next week because the school district wants to factor in two weeks for adequate preparations.

The most recent data for the county shows a seven-day average test-positivity rate of over 8%, and a seven-day average of confirmed cases at 47.2 per 100,000 people.

The school district will stay all-virtual until there’s a test-positivity rate of 5% or less over a seven-day range, and until the seven-day rolling average case rate drops below 10 per 100,000.

Recently, HCPS announced its plan for a return to classrooms — beginning with the resumption of small group programs, followed by a gradual increase of students in the third quarter. “Expanded in-person instruction” would then begin in the fourth quarter, per that plan.

Once a decision is reached on a start date, an announcement will be posted online and distributed via email and social media. One or more school-based learning centers will be provided at every school once in-person programs resume.

The school district also announced Tuesday that it will not administer the PSAT on Jan. 26 because of the elevated health metrics.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer.

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