2023-24 School Year – Updated March 2024

 Baltimore County Public Schools is committed to providing healthy and safe learning environments for all students and staff. The school system’s comprehensive plan to minimize the risks of COVID-19 is built upon a foundation of universal infection control practices and aligns with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well and from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).
The plan has the following components and strategies:

Staying Home When Sick

 Students and staff should stay home when they have a fever of 100⁰F or higher, have vomiting or diarrhea, or have other signs of illness such as cough or sore throat accompanied by body aches and fatigue. Sick students and staff are encouraged to consult with their health care provider to determine if they should be tested for COVID-19, flu, or other conditions. In general, testing is recommended when a person is sick with a fever that is accompanied by a cough, sore throat, and/or upset stomach.
Students and staff may return to school after symptoms improve and the fever is gone for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medicines. 
Upon return to school, persons recovering from respiratory viral infections, including COVID, are encouraged to take additional steps to protect others for five days.  These steps include washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding close contact with others to the extent possible, and wearing a well-fitting mask. 

Hand Hygiene, Respiratory Etiquette and Face Masks

Throughout the school year, school nurses and teachers reinforce healthy practices such as hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes. Posters, classroom lessons, and individual reminders will be utilized for this messaging. Bathrooms are stocked with soap and paper towels and checked daily to ensure adequate supplies. Hand sanitizer is available outside of all cafeterias for use when hand washing is not readily available.

Students who become sick at school are evaluated by the school nurse and given a face mask to wear until they are picked up by their parent/guardian. Replacement face masks are available in all schools for persons who are returning after COVID-19 infection and whose face mask has become soiled.

Some students and staff members may choose to wear a face mask daily as a personal health habit, based on their personal or family risk factors. BCPS respects the decision of any student and staff member who chooses to wear a face mask at school and work.


  BCPS continues to ensure that its HVAC systems are operating as designed to maximize exchange of air and ensure appropriate filtration. To supplement these air handling systems, BCPS uses air purifiers in areas of higher risk, such as health suites and weight rooms.


 BCPS continues its partnership with Baltimore County Department of Health and other community health institutions to provide COVID-19 and other vaccines. 


BCPS provides safe and clean schools and offices by ensuring at least daily cleaning of buildings and disinfection of high contact surfaces such as doorknobs and railings. All cleaning uses Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved germicidal agents formulated to kill coronavirus, influenza virus and other common germs.

Disease Surveillance

School nurses monitor illness trends in their schools and immediately report possible outbreaks of COVID-19 or other diseases to the Office of Health Services. The Office of Health Services follows guidance from the Baltimore County Department of Health to respond to any outbreaks. Parents/guardians and school staff will be notified when there is a confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 or another disease in their classroom or group (e.g., sports team.) (MDH defines an outbreak of COVID-19 as three or more epidemiologically linked cases in a specified group within a 10-day period and are not household contacts of a case.)

Staff from the Office of Health Services will monitor community transmission of COVID-19 using the CDC Hospital Admission Levels tracking system. If community transmission levels increase to moderate or high using this system, BCPS will adapt its prevention strategies in accordance with guidance from the Baltimore County Department of Health.


Upon request, school nurses will provide COVID-19 test kits to students or staff members who become ill while at school.

Enhanced Prevention

 In schools or classrooms where there is a confirmed outbreak of COVID-19, BCPS will add additional layers of prevention as directed by the Baltimore County Department of Health. These layers may include strategies such as masking and/or distributing test kits.

If community transmission levels increase to CDC’s moderate or high levels, BCPS may enhance the above strategies by adopting practices recommended by the MDH or BCDH such as masking, reducing indoor large group gatherings, and/or moving higher risk activities outdoors.

As always, BCPS remains poised to adapt its’ practices to ensure that students and staff remain safe and healthy.

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