Maryland county health official recommends private schools go online

Maryland county health official recommends private schools go online

In a 2016 file photo, students at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park, Md., participate in a classroom exercise. (Credit: Jaclyn Lippelmann/Catholic Standard via CNS.)

The health officer of a Maryland county has recommended that private schools in the county switch to online learning amid the rise in coronavirus cases.

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — The health officer of a Maryland county has recommended that private schools in the county switch to online learning amid the rise in coronavirus cases.

Anne Arundel County Health Officer Nilesh Kalyanaraman advised the switch in a letter to the schools last week, saying that the county Health department does not recommend in-person learning when cases exceed 15 new cases a day per 100,000 people. That threshold was exceeded in the county earlier this month, the Capital Gazette reported

Kalyanaraman wrote current data shows “COVID-19 cases attributed to exposure in schools” to be low but said “maintaining low levels of in-school transmissions will become more difficult with the growth in cases we are experiencing, leading to more disruptions in learning.”

The letter asked the schools to report by Friday whether they plan to go online, modify their instructions or maintain in-person learning. Kalyanaraman said Tuesday that the county does not have the ability to stop in-person learning, due to an executive order from Gov. Larry Hogan.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore plans to continue in-person learning at most of its schools in Anne Arundel County, they said in a statement. But other schools, including Monsignor Slade School, a Catholic school in Glen Burnie, switched online this week, with plans to stay out of classrooms until after the Thanksgiving holiday.

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