Positive Cases Rate of Students with COVID-19 Continue To Rise Before Winter Break

Several individuals at Charles Herbert Flowers school have tested positive for COVID-19

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Staff Photo by Virginia Bates

Virginia Bates and Copy Editor: Joshua Nunez

While it’s getting closer to the holidays and winter break for many students a lot of COVID-19 cases are rising in schools. Please don’t forget to socially distance around family and friends but with the new Omicron variant in Maryland, it is highly important while information is still not known.

The omicron coronavirus variety has only been present in Maryland since December 3, yet it has already begun to spread throughout the state, despite not being the primary source of COVID-19 infections.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe that the highly infectious strain currently constitutes.

In Maryland, COVID-19 accounts for 5% of all cases.

In Maryland, the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized has quadrupled in the previous month.

However, there may be a silver lining: CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stated on the “Today Show” on Tuesday that it appears the omicron type produces less severe illnesses. She stated that there is still a cause for concern.

“You still have a lot of people who are getting sick,” she said, adding some of the most vulnerable people could experience severe COVID-related illness or death.

According to official CDC data, 90 percent of all Marylanders 18 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Gov. Larry Hogan on Saturday.

“Even as we continue to urge booster shots, we are also very focused on getting the remaining unvaccinated individuals vaccinated,” Hogan said. “As part of our commitment to leave no arm behind, we will work to get that last remaining 10 percent vaccinated. This continues to be the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your fellow Marylanders.”

According to the New York Times, Maryland has reported 593,000 COVID cases and confirmed 11,255 fatalities related to respiratory disease during the pandemic.

The delta variant is still far more common across the country, but cases involving the Omicron variation have been on the rise in recent weeks, according to officials.

Omicron instances have been found in 33 states, according to Walensky, indicating that it is rapidly becoming the dominant strain as more cases develop.

In a letter Principal, Dr. Brown sent to the Jaguar community he explains several individuals at Charles Herbert Flowers school have tested positive for COVID-19. 

“Anyone determined to have been in close contact with the individual who tested positive for COVID-19 will receive further notification.  “Close contact” is defined as being within six feet for 15 minutes or more.  In line with our protocol, we have closed off the areas used by the individual until the identified areas can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.  We will follow additional guidance from the Prince George’s County Health Department as needed to protect the safety and well-being of all students and staff.”

It is most upsetting for student-athletes from the Swim team and Girls Basketball. The entire team and staff are instructed to be isolated for 10 days after multiple Covid cases within the teams by the PGCPS Nurse Manager, Tuesday.

This is right after the swim team had their successful opening to their seasons and won their first meet against Duval and Friendly, Saturday, December 11. 

Both teams will not practice or participate in any games/events until December 27.  Anyone that has tested positive or is unvaccinated may not return to school after the break.

Nonsystematic athletes and coaches that are vaccinated may return to school unless they test positive.

As the Winter season continues, there is expectation for more COVID-19 cases. 

“We will continue to monitor the situation and the Prince George’s County Health Department will notify you with any updates.  Please continue to conduct daily temperature checks and symptom screenings daily before coming to school.  Do not enter any PGCPS buildings if you feel ill.  Please inform the School Nurse or Principal if you or your child have symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19, or were exposed to anyone with COVID-19 within the last 14 days.”

Teachers are concerned for their safety and their students.

Ms. Carter, Foods & Nutrition teacher said in the middle of her lesson today “Please, please, please, please, please stay in your assigned seats. These Covid Cases are going up so please keep your mask on”. 

Charles Herbert Flowers High School Staff take this very seriously and to some students removing each other’s masks as a type of “prank” is not funny. Please keep in mind that we are currently amid a pandemic, and mask regulations remain in effect and will be enforced.