Somerset public schools to shut down in-person learning beginning Monday
Somerset County Public Schools will transition to a virtual learning format beginning Monday, Nov. 9, due to the county’s rising COVID-19 health metrics and reported cases among students and staff.
In-person learning will be halted through Nov. 27, according to a news release. Somerset County health metrics reported by the Maryland Department of Health on Thursday indicated a 7.9% average positivity rate over a seven-day span.
Over the last 14 days, school district officials have also observed a 2.45% increase in the county’s seven-day positivity rate and a 1.68% increase in case rate per 100,000, exceeding the state recommended benchmarks for reassessment of in-person school programs, according to the release.
Evidence of the community spread of COVID-19 has been observed in parts of Princess Anne, Deal Island and Crisfield, with schools in each part of the county affected by staff or student absences due to illness or self-isolation requirements for exposed individuals.
Princess Anne and Greenwood elementary schools were currently in a temporary shutdown due to reported COVID-19 cases.
All Somerset students had the option to return to the classroom as of Nov. 2. Superintendent John Gaddis said on Monday 53% of county’s student population was expected to take advantage of in-person instruction.
During the closure, student meals will be available for curbside pickup at each school location between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. All teachers are instructed to telework, and all 12-month employees are instructed to telework at the discretion of their immediate supervisor during the closure.
Somerset Public Schools are scheduled to reopen for in-person learning on Monday, Nov. 30.
The school system will provide updates to the community as the situation develops.