Montgomery County employees must get vaccine or be tested by September 18

In Montgomery County, residents had several questions regarding school and work at the weekly briefing on Wednesday. 

County Executive Marc Elrich says county employees must agree to vaccination or weekly testing by Sept. 18. 

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School starts on Monday for 160,000 students and MCPS teachers will have to let the school District know what their vaccination status is by this Friday and by the end of the month, they have to show proof.

The school system is still working on hiring more teachers as a result of a teacher shortage nationwide. Right now MCPS is short by 300 but the interim superintendent says they are also looking at candidates coming from neighboring jurisdictions.

By the Fall, parents can expect to see 50 mental health professionals hired within MCPS.

FOX 5 asked again today what the contingency plan is for when schools might have to switch to hybrid or distance learning, but school and county leaders gave no specifics about a threshold of case or hospitalization numbers.

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Elrich says he hopes more businesses will follow the county’s lead on requiring either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. 

Outgoing county health officer Travis Gayles says that while the county is seeing an increase in the number of cases and test positivity rate, it is encouraging that they are not noticing a huge uptick in hospitalizations, the way we saw them earlier in the pandemic.

It is yet to be determined who the next county health officer will be. The search will begin soon and once they have a candidate, the state will step in, to help with making a final decision.