Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) health officials are urging parents to get their children boosted with the latest versions of the COVID-19 vaccines after a recent increase in classroom outbreaks.
In a Friday advisory to parents, MCPS Medical Officer Dr. Patricia Kapunan said the district saw an increase in COVID-19 outbreaks in classrooms in recent weeks.
Kapunan emphasized that Montgomery County’s community risk level for COVID-19 infections is low, but community members should remain vigilant about preventing the spread of the virus.
MCPS recommended that children and parents receive their booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the latest Omicron subvariants. These vaccines are available at county-sponsored clinics, including school-based vaccine clinics. Families can also obtain the boosters at local pharmacies.
Kapunan also urged families to test students that show symptoms of COVID-19 and report positive results to school authorities.
The letter to families added that community members must also show diligence in preparing for the upcoming flu season. Experts predict more flu cases this year compared to last year because COVID-19 mitigation strategies that were previously mandatory – such as masks – helped prevent severe flu seasons recently.
“We may have less shared immunity after a couple of lighter flu years,” Kapunan wrote in the letter.
Masks are currently optional in all MCPS schools and facilities. Kapunan emphasized that MCPS will continue to use temporary masking and testing to prevent further transmission of the virus when outbreaks are identified at schools.