ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano and Board of Education Chair Dr. Chao Wu announced that more than 90% of Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) educators have received at least their first dose or are scheduled for their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
Approximately 9,300 HCPSS employees requested the vaccine. This week, HCPSS is anticipating an additional 300 doses provided by Johns Hopkins Medicine, and once administered, these additional doses are expected to bring the HCPSS staff vaccination percentage closer to 95%.
“Howard County has worked closely with the HCPSS to ensure that our educators and school staff are prioritized as they head back to the classrooms,” said Ball. “This vaccination effort is a monumental undertaking, and we’re proud of how quickly we have been able to get shots in arms. As many in our community look forward to their chance to be vaccinated, this is great progress to moving towards additional groups and phases.”
“While the pandemic is far from over, the vaccine provides one layer of protection and we have made tremendous progress locally with vaccinations. I want to thank County Executive Ball and Health Officer Maura Rossman for their leadership and commitment to equity and access to vaccinations. I want to commend our health services staff who have worked hand-in-hand with the county health department to staff vaccine clinics and have been on the frontlines to administer thousands of vaccines doses over the last several weeks,” said Martirano.
Dr. Chao Wu, Chair of the Board of Education of Howard County said, “As we transition to Phase II of the HCPSS Bridge to Normalized Instruction, and additional staff and students return to buildings, we are encouraged by this significant accomplishment. We have been facing various challenges and uncertainties along this journey. However, I want to thank the Superintendent and his team for their collaboration with the county and communication with our staff and contractors to help achieve this high level of vaccine administration.
HCPSS is working with its contractors to ensure that all bus drivers and temporary support personnel who have not been vaccinated at this time are scheduled for a future clinic through the Health Department or Johns Hopkins. In addition, HCPSS administered a survey this week to understand how many staff have not yet received a vaccine so that those staff members who wish to can be contacted individually for future HCHD clinic appointments.
“The safe, efficient vaccination of our educators has been possible due to partnerships with Howard County Government and HCPSS,” said Dr. Maura Rossman, Howard County Health Officer. “We remain committed to providing this life-saving vaccine to all of the high-priority groups in our community so that we can safely return to school, return to work and return to normal.”
HCPSS employees who would like to receive a vaccine but have not yet scheduled an appointment should contact their supervisor and ensure that they are checking their email on a regular basis.