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COVID cratering in Baltimore County schools


The number of reported cases of COVID-19 in the Baltimore County Public Schools is dropping fast. School officials said last week they saw a 60% reduction in cases among both students and employees.

Debbie Somerville, the head nurse for the county schools, told the school board Tuesday the declining COVID numbers in the schools reflect what is happening countywide. If the trend continues, she said the schools could improve from high to moderate COVID transmission levels by the end of February.

“There are no guarantees that rates will continue to drop this quickly," Somerville said. “But we’ve good reason to be hopeful that by spring we will see substantially fewer cases of COVID.”

As of last week, there were 832 positive COVID cases in the county schools, down from more than 2,000 the week before.

“This is good news,” Somerville said.

The number of county schools learning virtually because of COVID has declined as well, down to just two. Somerville said that’s due to both the dropping COVID rates and the deployment of central staff into classrooms to substitute for sick teachers.

School board member Lily Rowe thanked Somerville saying, “You get beat up a lot in the community for trying to do the best job you can and I appreciate that no matter what happened you just keep moving forward.”

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2