TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore County Public Schools on Monday announced it will suspend all non-athletic extracurricular activities temporarily in an effort to combat a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases.

The school system said it is committed to remaining open, and will only return to virtual instruction if required by local or state government.

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“The decisions we make as a school system, while navigating the complexities of this ongoing pandemic, are guided by our commitment to ensure the health and wellness of our students and staff,” the school system said in an announcement. “We also know that for most of our students, their academic and social-emotional needs are best met when they are in person.”

The suspension, which includes clubs, programs and in-person tutoring, will start Wednesday and go until Jan. 7.

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Athletic activities will continue as scheduled, but players must provide proof of vaccination or undergo weekly testing. All winter break games are canceled, and beginning Monday, teams that have three or more cases will pause activities for 14 days.

The school system said it will provide an update on its efforts by Thursday, Dec. 30.

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CBS Baltimore Staff