MCPS news blurbs: contact tracing and community officers

MCPS ends contract tracing

Effective May 2, with guidance from federal, state and local health partners, MCPS will no longer contact trace those exposed to Covid.

“I don’t feel that contact tracing is necessary at this point. It seems that the Omicron virus is out there and as long as you’re vaccinated, it’s like getting a bad cold and people seem to be getting through it [without having to take additional precautions],” English teacher Marc Waldman said.

However, MCPS administrators will continue to send out positive case updates to individual schools, as will daily cases by school be available on the Covid dashboard.

In the event of an outbreak, MCPS will determine if the return of contact tracing is necessary, along with a possible mask mandate.

“While the virus continues to affect people in our community and across the nation, this change is possible because of the important work we have all undertaken to follow health guidelines, including vaccinations, that mitigate and minimize the spread of COVID-19,” the community update said.

MCPS brings back Community Engagement Officers

In an Apr. 26 update to the county, MCPS released a statement describing the return of Community Engagement Officers [CEO] to all three school levels. 

The purpose of this program is to produce strong relationships between students and trusted adults, including police officers, especially since having armed individuals in schools has raised concerns by students. 

“There is a structural barrier between students and police officers on campus… I do think there is a lot of value in them being there… having people that are there for safety,” senior Samuel Williams said.

CEOs will work with schools in their assigned cluster, assist in coordinating major school events and participate in mandatory professional development.

“The Community Engagement Officer (CEO) Program is a necessary part of an informed, thoughtful and comprehensive response to address the safety of all students and staff,” the statement said.