COVID In Maryland: March 22, 2021 (Evening Edition)
NICOLE BAKER: A vaccination milestone-- at least 1/4 of Maryland residents now have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. Hello, everyone, thanks for joining us at 5:00. I'm Nicole Baker
DENISE KOCH: And I'm Denise Koch. This comes as the state is set to move into phase IIa of the vaccine rollout tomorrow, and that means that anyone 60 and older is eligible for the shot.
NICOLE BAKER: There could be a fourth coronavirus vaccine in the US. AstraZeneca says a new study here in our country, along with two other countries, shows its vaccine is 79% effective at preventing COVID symptoms.
DENISE KOCH: Now, the company says it is 100% effective at stopping severe illness and hospitalization. The US has pre-ordered 300 million doses of that vaccine. And as more Marylanders will soon be allowed to register for a vaccine, more children are heading back to school.
NICOLE BAKER: Yeah, it's part of the different hybrid models created and being implemented by Maryland's public school districts.
DENISE KOCH: Rachel Cardin is live in Baltimore County, where students in grades 6 and 9 had the option to return to the classroom. Rachel?
RACHEL CARDIN: That's right, Denise, Nicole. Here in Baltimore County, the remaining students in those grades could return to in-person learning today if they wanted to. Down in Anne Arundel County, the grades welcome back were 7, 8, 10, and 11.
For the last few weeks, a Monday in our region means more kids back in the classroom.
JASON DRIGGS: So it's nice to have that date knowing that they're going to be going back to school.
RACHEL CARDIN: Jason Driggs says his son is 9, so it's not his turn yet to go back to school, but he can't wait for that day.
JASON DRIGGS: But he's excited for April, just to get back to some sort of normal way of life.
RACHEL CARDIN: Baltimore County mom Trang Nguyen says her high school-aged son gets a better education in person.
TRANG NGUYEN: I want my son in class, because you know, close to friends, and close to teachers. And teachers can work, then, and then talk together. It's much, much better.
RACHEL CARDIN: But not all parents feel it's time for their child. This Anne Arundel County dad says he's keeping his son home. Virtual works for them.
- Yes, he handled it very well. You know, he's a nine-year-old, so he really don't understand. But you know, it's a process.
RACHEL CARDIN: In Baltimore City, seniors will head back to school Monday, April 12. Carroll County kids are already back in person, learning four days a week. Harford County Elementary students will go back to four days a week in person next Monday, and Howard County schools will welcome back grades 3 4, 5, 6, 9, and 12 next week. This Baltimore City mom of four says she doesn't want to risk it just yet.
- They're staying home, staying safe.
RACHEL CARDIN: And we'll continue to break down the school schedules county by county. Coming up at 6:00 o'clock, of course, we have more information and more about your kid's school district on our website, wjz.com. We're live in Towson tonight at 5:00. I'm Rachel Cardin for WJZ.
NICOLE BAKER: All right, thank you, Rachel. If you are still missing your latest stimulus check, more are coming. The Biden administration says the second batch of COVID-19 payments will be issued this week. For taxpayers receiving direct deposit, the $1,400 payments began processing Friday. However, some people might not see the money until the official pay date of March 24. You can check whether a payment has been scheduled on the IRS website.