Montgomery County Public Schools provided guidelines to students who plan to travel for Spring Break.
ROCKVILLE, Md. — Montgomery County Public Schools announced Tuesday that students who choose to travel outside of Maryland must take a COVID-19 test within three days of returning and self-quarantine before returning to the classroom.
This guidance also includes travel to nearby states and jurisdictions such as Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and D.C., county officials said in a letter sent out to its school community.
The protocol will be implemented for spring break travel or any other traveling students take during the school year, MCPS officials said. Regardless of if the student is vaccinated, the new rules still apply.
MCPS said they plan to regularly review and update their travel guidance alongside future state and federal changes.
Montgomery County Public Schools students returned to the classroom on March 1 following a year of all in-person learning. Across 68 schools, the county first welcomed back kids in special education and career and technical education programs.
In about a week, the county plans to welcome back kindergarten through third-graders through a phased-in approach. And by the end of April, all students from all grade levels will return to the classrooms through a hybrid model.
Here’s the full letter below:
Dear MCPS Students, Parents and Guardians:
As students and staff return to in-person instruction, it is important to clarify the expectations regarding travel during the pandemic. Together, we all share an interest in and responsibility for keeping our schools and offices as safe and healthy as possible for all staff and students.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) discourage nonessential travel, asking residents to travel only for essential or emergency reasons, and to restrict or delay travel for tourism or vacation purposes. The CDC specifically states:
Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. The CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
In alignment with updated MDH directives, students who choose to travel outside of Maryland and its adjacent jurisdictions (Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Washington, D.C.) should take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning and self-quarantine while awaiting results. Please note there are specific exceptions for symptomatic students and students who have had COVID-19 in the 90 days prior to travel. Please read this guidance from the state carefully. This guidance applies to spring break and any other travel a student may take during the school year and it also applies regardless of vaccination status. Please note that these protocols will be regularly reviewed and updated as federal and state health guidance changes. We are committed to providing updates when these changes take place.
We understand that some families already have plans to leave the area during spring break and that this safety guidance may disrupt their plans. However, we believe taking precautions like this can reduce and limit the possible spread of COVID-19 in our schools. We appreciate your cooperation and we encourage you to spend spring break at home as requested by County Executive Marc Elrich.
Montgomery County Public Schools