Baltimore County Public School students will return to the classroom in the coming weeks with fewer COVID-19 restrictions on the books. Photo courtesy of Baltimore County Public Schools.

Students and staff returning to the classroom across Baltimore County Public Schools should expect a more typical year when classes resume Aug. 29, according to the head nurse for the school system. Gone will be many of the COVID-19 protocols. A big change this year is there will be no more quarantining of people who have been exposed to someone infected with COVID. Don’t expect to see masks for the most part either.

“No one needs to quarantine immediately after exposure as long as they don’t have symptoms,” said Deborah Somerville, the director of the office of health services.

But other school districts are keeping preventative rules such as masks in Prince George’s County. Baltimore City Public Schools has not released any information about back-to-school requirements for the general student population. In Baltimore County, employees and students can still show up to school if they have been exposed but Somerville said it’s recommended they wear a mask for 10 days after the last close contact.

“With COVID, you’re contagious before your symptoms develop,” Somerville said. “Wearing a mask is just a respectful way to not pass it on to other people in case you are going to become a case.”

She also advised that individuals take a COVID test five days after they were exposed to the virus. The school system is following more relaxed COVID guidelines that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released last week.

“I think that the priority that the CDC has set on minimizing disruption to everyday life, including schooling and missing work too is really important,” said Dr. Leana Wen, a professor of health policy and management at George Washington University.

Read more (and listen) at WYPR.