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Baltimore County schools announce plans to reopen for students in March; teachers to return by mid-February

Baltimore County public school officials are preparing to bring students back to school buildings for the first time in nearly a year, with employees expected to return to buildings by Feb. 16, followed by students March 1. Officials released the timeline Monday for rolling out a hybrid learning model of both in-person and online instruction for several categories of students.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
COVID In Maryland: Over 1.1K New Cases As Hospitalizations Drop Again

Maryland adds 1,163 coronavirus cases as hospitalizations dropped again Monday morning. Total cases surpassed 355,000 and are now at 355,636. Twenty-seven more Marylanders died in the last 24 hours from the virus, now a total of 6,978 deaths. There are 1,437 Marylanders hospitalized for the virus at this time, dropping down by 34 cases Monday. ICU beds did rise, now at 371. There are 1,066 in acute care.

Read More: WJZ
Kirwan education reforms are at high risk of repeating historical disappointments

The reforms to implement recommendations of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education are a comprehensive and thoughtful rebuilding of the state’s education policy and procedures. Oversight of Kirwan’s education reforms is expected to come from an Accountability and Implementation Board, whose responsibilities would include governance and accountability during the board’s limited 10-year life.

Maryland facing shortage of second COVID vaccine doses, health secretary says

Maryland is facing a shortage of second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the state’s acting health secretary said Monday, putting hospitals at risk of not being able to complete the regimen of many people who have already received the first dose, including front-line workers. Maryland Acting Secretary of Health Dennis R. Schrader said during a virtual Senate Vaccine Oversight Workgroup hearing on Monday that the shortages were causing “a lot of angst” in the department, and that the state believes the allotment numbers were miscommunicated during the presidential administration transition.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore to issue 200 extra paychecks to unpaid, underpaid Department of Public Works employees

Baltimore officials will issue supplemental paychecks Monday to employees in the Department of Public Works who received no salary or only incomplete checks for the last few weeks. About 200 employees will receive the checks in hopes of resolving payroll problems within that department, said Stefanie Mavronis, spokesperson for Democratic Mayor Brandon Scott.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Campus transition: FSU students, staff adjust to online learning

When Frostburg State University shut down its campus in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the college experience dramatically changed for most students with the onset of online learning. With many students taking a blend of online and in-person classes and 25% of them studying entirely remotely, mental health has become a significant concern for college students. One in five college students say the effects of the pandemic have worsened their mental health, according to a 2020 survey from the nonprofit Active Minds.

Read More: Times-News
Person holding injection
Some Md. hospitals say they’re struggling to obtain 2nd vaccine dose

Hospitals across the state are reporting difficulties in getting enough vaccines to provide second doses to health care workers in the highest priority categories, according to state officials. The news comes as federal officials in the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House COVID-19 Response Team advised states Monday to not withhold doses as part of an effort to have enough for a second dose.

Person holding injection
Coronavirus vaccination and testing sites close as snowstorm hits the Baltimore area

Several Maryland coronavirus vaccination and testing locations run by the state and the counties announced closures Sunday amid heavy snow, in a development that may briefly hamper the state’s effort to combat COVID-19. “As the situation develops, there may be further impacts on testing operations on Tuesday, February 2 and possibly beyond,” according to a Sunday news release from the Maryland Department of Health. “Please verify your site operation before your visit, and consider rescheduling if conditions are hazardous.”

Read More: Baltimore Sun
A diverse suburb’s biggest pandemic challenge: Distributing the vaccine equitably

Ten months after a liberal, diverse suburb saw its first cases of the coronavirus, it faces what might be its most daunting task yet: distributing a protective vaccine to all 1 million residents. Lawmakers and health officials in Montgomery County, Md., which two years ago passed a sweeping racial equity bill, have emphasized the need to distribute the coronavirus vaccine according to “equity principles.”

Some Marylanders with health conditions can get vaccinated starting Monday. But who’s included?

Starting Monday, adults in Maryland who are hospitalized with certain health conditions will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines, according to the Maryland Department of Health’s latest clinician guidance. But the list of qualifying conditions is short, and the news comes while vaccine appointments remain difficult to obtain. People who are not hospitalized but are diagnosed with these conditions won’t be able to be vaccinated until Phase 2 of the rollout.

Read More: Baltimore Sun

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