Coronavirus Preparations

Updates as of March 6, 2020

Coronavirus in Maryland

The Maryland Department of Health confirms three people in Montgomery County, Maryland have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). These cases were determined to be contracted during travel outside the country - not from community contact in the state.


Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) is prepared to do our part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus if cases are reported in the community.

How Schools Are Responding

Communication and Monitoring:

  • WCPS is following the latest information from local and state health departments, as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These agencies let us know when cases of certain communicable diseases are confirmed, and they issue guidelines for appropriate action.


  • WCPS staff are reviewing and updating emergency response protocols for actions specific to the coronavirus.


  • Staff are regularly meeting and working collaboratively with agencies and organizations across the community to maximize resources and provide a consistent, efficient response to this community health challenge.


  • WCPS continues to monitor travel advisories and will adjust student travel outside of the county or state for school-related activities if necessary. WCPS respects a family's decision to withhold their child from a field trip.

Cleaning:

  • WCPS continues to take proactive measures for preventing the spread of the flu and other viral illnesses. This includes disinfecting and cleaning objects, surfaces, and frequent touchpoints. WCPS is prepared to increase these actions further if necessary.


  • These efforts go beyond classrooms to include school buses, cafeterias, gymnasiums and athletic equipment, office spaces, and more.

Education:

  • WCPS is reminding and supporting teachers to encourage healthy habits and stress their importance to students. Good handwashing and cough/sneeze etiquette remain some of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of communicable illness.


  • Nurses are available in schools to provide handwashing lessons, and additional reminder posters are hung in all schools.
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Will Washington County Schools Close?

It's simply too soon to tell. There are no reported cases of coronavirus in Washington County, and it's difficult to assess how much impact, if any, the virus will have on our schools or the community.


Schools and the Center for Education Services monitor attendance rates daily and provide reports to the Washington County Health Department.


In matters of public health, the Health Department provides guidance regarding whether a school or all schools should be closed for the health and safety of students and staff.