Teachers and school staff in Montgomery County, Maryland, are awaiting their turn for a COVID-19 vaccine, which is not expected until late January at the earliest.
Following the county school board’s decision Tuesday night to delay in-person learning until at least March 15, schools Superintendent Jack Smith said there’s no benchmark for the number of teacher and staff vaccinations needed before in-person learning can resume.
“Having the vaccination available to school system employees is critical,” Smith told a monthly news briefing. “So, there’s a lot of work going on around this, and I don’t think there’s any set percentage of our total staff members that we expect to see at any given moment.”
However, Smith indicated that increasing numbers of staff vaccinations would boost confidence in the safety of in-person learning.
“Our goal would be to continue to use the vaccine as yet another way to provide confidence in the safety of students and adults in school buildings,” he said.
School officials said one school building is currently being used by the county health department to administer COVID-19 vaccines, and the health department has requested two others.
Montgomery County’s high COVID-19 rate has also eliminated the chance for the county’s public high school juniors to take the PSAT, scheduled by the College Board for Jan. 26.
“We just could not come up with enough space and enough systems to provide that opportunity to so many students,” Smith said.
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