Prince George’s County in Maryland announced Friday that its public schools would cease providing in-person instruction until at least Jan. 14 due to a substantial uptick in coronavirus cases.
District CEO Monica Goldson made the announcement Friday and marked Jan. 18, the day after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, as the date the district aims to return to in-person instruction.
THREAT OF SCHOOL CLOSURES RISES AS OMICRON LOOMS
"Over the past few days, I have remained in daily contact with the Prince George’s County Health Department regarding appropriate steps for maintaining safe environments across more than 200 school communities,” Goldson said in a letter announcing the decision.
Numerous individual schools across the country have closed due to high coronavirus rates, but school districts have largely eschewed the broad closures that were seen nationwide through most of 2020. Still, the emergence of the omicron variant has ignited fresh concerns that schools will close to in-person learning.
Prince George’s decision to close sets it apart from other area districts such as Washington, D.C., which have opted for more targeted closures, only closing individual schools that have seen a high number of cases and corresponding quarantines.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
“Educators, administrators and support staff must be able to deliver in-person instruction and other activities in conditions that prioritize their own health, as well as the wellbeing of the school community,” Goldson said. “The increased positivity rates have significantly challenged the ability to do so, causing anxiety among many school communities and disruption to the school day.”