Photo courtesy Governor Larry Hogan's press conference
MCPS schools will remain closed through May 15 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, State Superintendent Karen Salmon announced in an April 17 press conference. Previously, schools were scheduled to open on April 24.
State and local school officials have been developing further plans for digital learning and are considering expanding summer school programs to compensate for lost instructional time during the school year.
“We will use this time to examine every option, and continue to develop a long-term plan for recovery,” Salmon said in the press conference.
Counties will continue to provide child care services to essential personnel in Maryland, Salmon said. Also, the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act has provided the state of Maryland with an additional 45.8 million dollars to “support the maintenance of child care programs and the continuation of child care services or essential personnel,” Salmon said.
“I want to thank all those individuals providing child care who have dedicated their lives to children,” she said. “You are all champions and we want to thank you for stepping up during this crisis.”
Local superintendents have also been working on methods to ensure that high school seniors receive recognition for their accomplishments, Salmon said.
In the same press conference, Governor Larry Hogan introduced the state’s plan for recovery, which includes four components: expanding testing capacity, increasing the number of available hospital beds, increasing the supply of personal protective equipment and creating a robust contact tracing operation.
Hogan will provide an update on the plan’s progress next week and introduce what he calls “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.”
Additionally, beginning at 7 a.m. today, all Maryland residents are required to wear face coverings when riding public transportation and inside retail establishments. When residents complained about the policy, asserting that the law infringed upon their rights, Hogan said that the mask policy is non-negotiable.
“It isn’t just about your rights or protecting yourself,” he said. “It’s about protecting your neighbors, and the best science we have shows that people might not know that they’re carriers of the virus. Spreading this disease infringes on your neighbor’s rights.”
For more information on the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to these resources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
Maryland Department of Health
Montgomery County Public Schools
Montgomery County Department of Disease Control and Epidemiology — 240-777-1755
Maryland Department of Health and Infectious diseases — 410-767-6700