Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, a Catholic high school in Olney, is closing early before its holiday break after 21 people reportedly tested for COVID-19, according to a message from the school.

School officials decided that Tuesday would be its last day for students, faculty and staff prior to the holiday break, according to a message from the school’s president, Paul Barker.

Barker wrote in the message that through Tuesday afternoon, 21 positive cases of COVID-19 had been reported. Through Friday the school had averaged less than one case per week during the school year, but there has been a “significant increase” in the number of cases among students in the last two days, Barker wrote.

Barker did not specify whether the 21 people who tested positive were students, faculty or staff.

“By stepping back, we hope to optimize the opportunity for all our families to have a safe and healthy Christmas,” he wrote.

According to the school’s calendar, midterm exams were scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with the break officially starting on Dec. 20. On Tuesday Barker wrote that the exams had been postponed until the new year. The school plans to let students know of the revised exam schedule during the break, Barker wrote.


Barker added that all extracurricular activities have been canceled through Dec. 28, although free COVID-19 testing will be available at the school Wednesday from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

Principal Tom Campbell could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Another private high school, North Bethesda’s Georgetown Preparatory School, announced this week that it was shifting to online classes after 30 students tested positive for COVID-19, WTOP reported.


Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdda-remix.newspackstaging.com