UPDATE: Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) has updated its face mask use requirements for all staff, students, and visitors to schools, buildings, centers, and all other CCPS facilities. Effective Friday, July 30, 2021, mask use is now required for anyone inside a CCPS building. This applies to everyone, including individuals already vaccinated against COVID-19. As CCPS prepares for the reopening of schools on Aug. 30, the mask mandate is in effect until further notice. Masks are also required on CCPS transportation for bus drivers, attendants, and any student using CCPS bus services.  

Since the start of the pandemic, CCPS has worked closely with state and local health officials, Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna Abney, and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to monitor health metrics and make decisions for the school system based on local data.  

Superintendent of Schools Maria Navarro, Ed.D., reimplemented the face mask mandate for the school system after reviewing recent COVID-19 data, and vaccination rates for children ages 12-18 in Charles County. Charles County health department data reports a 38 percent COVID-19 vaccination rate for children ages 12-18.   

New rule in place for student-athletes 

Additionally, CCPS has instituted new requirements for high school student-athletes. Fall sports begin on Wednesday, Aug. 11, with practices for students, coaches, and teams. All high school students participating in sports are now required to either:   

  • Provide proof of having been fully COVID-19 vaccinated (completion of the vaccine series, plus 14 days) to their high school athletic director; or 
  • Participate in the free CCPS COVID-19 screening program.  

Athletes who do not provide proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination or fail to participate in the screening program will not be allowed to participate with the team, at practice or games.  

Parents of athletes participating in the screening program must complete a one-time registration and consent for their child. Parents of more than one student-athlete will need to create a separate account for each child. As part of the program, student-athletes will be tested weekly for COVID-19. The screening will be done by a certified medical contractor.  

Parents can visit https://schoolcovid19test.com/ to register their child for testing. The registration will be available after 9 a.m. on July 30. When registering, parents will need to select the name of their child’s high school.  

Parents who need registration assistance can call 800-635-8611. Test results are shared with parents/guardians, the CCPS director of school safety and security, and the athletic director at each CCPS high school. Since May, CCPS has provided free weekly COVID-19 testing to interested staff and students.  

CCPS is providing COVID-19 testing for student-athletes through a partner program between the school system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

Vaccinated student-athletes must present proof of COVID-19 vaccination to include the student name, date of birth, vaccine manufacturer, vaccine lot number, date of each vaccination, and health care professional or clinic site. The preferred vaccination card is the CDC’s “COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.”  CCPS will not maintain or keep a copy of a student’s vaccination card.  

Charles County Public Schools made this announcement on their Facebook page Thursday, July 29, 2021 evening:

Effective tomorrow, Friday, July 30, 2021, Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) will require the use of face masks at all schools, centers, buildings, and facilities. The masking requirement is for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are also required on CCPS transportation.

This is a developing story and we will update more once information is received from CCPS.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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