ROCK HALL — Kent County Public Schools’ COVID-19 policies remain largely unchanged despite a spike in the number of cases locally.

Superintendent Karen Couch said there are not any plans at this time for the school system to transition to virtual learning.

Individual schools may transition to virtual learning on a case by case basis after consultation with the Kent County Health Department. Such a pivot would likely last five to seven days after consultation with the health department, Couch said.

According to guidance released by the Maryland Department of Health and Maryland State Department of Education, in-person learning may be temporarily suspended when there is evidence of substantial, uncontrolled in-school transmission; when schools need additional time to identify, notify and exclude close contacts; when there are logistic or safety concerns from the number of cases and close contacts; or when discussed with and recommended by local public health and medical professionals.

In-person learning can be suspended for an entire school, or just a portion — like a classroom or a cohort within the school.

What has changed, however, are the quarantine and isolation guidelines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance allowing for a five-day quarantine and isolation period. That policy was approved by the KCHD before being adopted by KCPS.

Under the new policy, outlined on KCPS’ Facebook page, those who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate, regardless of vaccination status.

Those without symptoms, or whose symptoms resolve, after five days may leave isolation, but must continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days.

Anyone who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and has received a dose of a booster vaccine or has completed a primary series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last six months or completed the primary series of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine within the last two months does not need to quarantine. However, they must wear a mask around others for 10 days.

It is suggested those vaccinated people get tested on day five of their exposure. If they develop symptoms at any time they should get tested and stay home.

Anyone who is unvaccinated or completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine more than six months ago and are not boosted, or completed the primary series of Johnson and Johnson over two months ago and are not boosted, must quarantine at home for five days and wear a mask around others for an additional five days.

If someone experiences symptoms, they should get tested and stay home.

Health Officer William Webb said that those whose final Pfizer or Moderna vaccination occurred more than six months ago or whose final Johnson and Johnson vaccination occurred more than two months ago and have not been boosted have a “diminished immunological protection against COVID-19.”

“Immunity conferred by COVID vaccines wanes over time,” he said in an email. “We encourage all individuals who are eligible for a booster to get one as soon as possible.”

Negative tests are not required before returning to school.

According to the school system’s COVID dashboard, there have been 102 reported cases of the virus. The dashboard does not differentiate between students and staff.

The Kent County Health Department offers COVID-19 testing Monday through Thursday each week by appointment. For more information on testing times, or to schedule an appointment, visit

There will be vaccination clinics on Thursdays, Jan. 6 and 13 at the Kent County Community Center in Worton. All three vaccines will be available. To register, visit the health department website.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.