CoronavirusCovid-19Prince George's CountyWilliam J. Ford

Prince George’s School Employees Required to Get COVID Vaccine

Prince George’s County Public Schools will now require its roughly 22,000 employees to get a coronavirus vaccine, according to a video message released Friday.

PGCPS CEO Monica Goldson said in the more than two-minute video that all staff must show proof of vaccination by Aug. 27. The vaccine information must include a person’s name, date of birth, phone number and date and location of the vaccination.

So far, about 12,000 employees have been vaccinated.

If an employee doesn’t schedule an appointment, then that person must “submit to weekly, onsite testing.”

“Thank you for your understanding and for adhering to this mandate. Your health and safety [are] my priority,” Goldson said.

Prince George’s, which leads Maryland in the most confirmed coronavirus cases with 88,639, joins several other school districts in the state that will require employees to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Howard County became the state’s first public school system Thursday to announce a similar vaccination mandate for its workers.

Montgomery County Public Schools announced Friday it would require employees to be vaccinated.

According to school documents, the district will conduct “pool testing for random samples of students in prekindergarten through sixth grade” because the vaccine remains unavailable for children younger than 12.

The district plans to implement a policy for all 24,000 employees in the state’s biggest school district, but doesn’t outline when proof of vaccination would be required or testing procedures.

“More details will be shared with employees prior to the start of the school year,” according to school documents.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Aug. 5 that employees who work in “congregate settings” such as prisons, hospitals and juvenile centers must receive at least one vaccine dose by Sept. 1 or receive multiple tests per week.

On Friday, Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones and five top Democrats sent a letter to Hogan urging him to renew a pandemic-related state of emergency before it expires at midnight Sunday.

Now is not the time to end the stated public health emergency — not only because of the limitations it will put on our state response but also because of the message that it sends to the public at large about the urgency of this situation, particularly as we prepare to send our children back to school,” the letter said.

Most of the state-mandated emergency restrictions expired July 1. A stay on driver’s license renewals and the state’s moratorium on evictions remained in effect but are set to expire Sunday.

A federal judge ruled a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction moratorium may remain in place, but its future is uncertain.

Hogan has said there aren’t any plans to reissue the state of emergency, which his spokesman Michael Ricci summarized in an email Friday noting the state remains one of the best in the nation in its pandemic response.

Maryland is much better prepared to withstand the delta variant surge, our hospitals remain well within their capacities, and our health metrics are among the lowest in the country,” he said. “We remain very concerned about the rise in infections among the unvaccinated, and continue to work to get as many Marylanders as vaccinated as possible.

William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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