In brief

Maryland public universities to require COVID-19 vaccine

BALTIMORE — Maryland’s public higher education system will require that students, faculty and staff returning to campuses in the fall be vaccinated against COVID-19.

University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay Perman announced the decision in a statement Friday. The system will allow appropriate exemptions for medical or religious reasons, the statement said.

“If we examine the data — and there is an extraordinary accumulation of data — we see that the risk of vaccines is very low, whereas the risk of COVID is very high. And that risk is increasingly falling on young people,” Perman said.

The announcement came a day after the 10-campus University of California system and the 23-campus California State University system said they intend to require vaccines in the fall, in the largest announcement of its kind in American higher education.

Across the country, colleges have been divided on the issue. Some private universities have recently told students they must get vaccinated, but other schools are leaving the decision to students.

The Maryland system said it would also continue with other mitigation strategies such as pre-arrival COVID-19 testing, surveillance testing and public health interventions like masking.

The system includes 12 universities and three regional higher education centers serving about 135,000 undergraduate and about 41,000 graduate students, according to its website.

Kids can receive a free bike helmet

in Frederick MondayThe Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County and other community groups will distribute free, custom-fitted bike helmets to youths on Monday.

The distribution will take place at Frederick Towne Mall, next to Tire World, at 2 p.m. It will complement the I Believe in Me food drop.

Partners for the event are Safe Kids, the Frederick Bicycle Coalition, I believe in Me and the Maryland Department of Transportation, according to a news release. To receive a helmet, both a parent and child must be present.

Monday’s project is part of “Club on the Go,” a new Boys & Girls Club initiative to support young people in various locations around the county. A branded bus sponsored by the Ausherman Family Foundation will make its way around the community to provide programming, meals and mentoring throughout the year, according to Boys & Girls Club officials.

“It takes a village to support these kids, so through partnerships we are going to do all we can to provide a quality experience for all youth in our community,” Shana Knight, Boys & Girls Club of Frederick County’s director of development, said in a prepared statement.

— Staff reports

Vacancy on school board’s ethics panel

The Frederick County Board of Education has announced a vacancy on its Ethics Panel, according to school system officials.

The panel has an opening for a volunteer to serve a three-year term beginning July 1 and ending in June 2024.

Members of the Ethics Panel advise the board on ethics issues and review financial disclosure statements. The panel meets about three times per school year to fulfill responsibilities under the Maryland Ethics Law and Board Policy 109.

Members are expected to attend regularly scheduled meetings, which typically occur during the day. FCPS employees are not eligible to serve.

Anyone interested in applying for the vacancy should email a letter of interest, relevant background information and contact information to by May 31.

For more information, contact Executive Assistant Kathryn Fostik at 301-696-6917.

— The Associated Press

— Katryna Perera

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