Specific coronavirus vaccine plan needed for Md. schools, superintendents say

School superintendents from Montgomery and Prince George’s counties called for more guidance from Maryland education officials on how to handle a coronavirus vaccine once one is available.

They made the comments during a hearing held Wednesday by the Maryland Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

“Our current rules around immunization require that our students have to have updated immunizations in order to receive the delivery of instruction,” said Prince George’s Public Schools CEO Monica Goldson.

While Maryland has released a general plan on how to roll out a vaccine in the state, a number of questions related to schools remain unanswered, including whether students will be vaccinated at school and whether a vaccination will be required for students to attend classes in-person.

The superintendents said they could use more help from the Maryland State Department of Education to track coronavirus infections among students and school staff members.

Currently, individual school systems are setting up their own contact tracing systems.

“We need to do things in a uniform and consistent way in testing and contact tracing,” said Jack Smith, the superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools.

“All of those things need to be much more consistent,” he said.

The state has released some limited guidance on how to begin in-person classes and how to handle potential cases of the virus popping up in school buildings, but education leaders who spoke at the hearing said they still lack information.

They said one thing that would help would be a public dashboard that includes a complete list of schools that are dealing with coronavirus cases.

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.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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