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Health

4 Maine Counties Go 'Yellow' In Color-Coded COVID-19 Risk System

State officials say that four central and Western Maine counties have an elevated risk of COVID-19 transmission, and schools there should look at adding precautions.

The Mills administration on Friday classified Kennebec, Androscoggin, Somerset and Oxford counties as "yellow" on the state's color-coded health advisory system. That marks the first time in months that any counties have been rated "yellow" on the system, and come as case counts have climbed in Maine in recent weeks.

In a statement, the Maine Department of Education says that Androscoggin County has experienced a sharp increase in cases, while the other counties had new case or positivity rates above the state average. State officials say case rates among students and staff are still about 40% lower than the state as a whole.

The DOE recommends that counties designated "yellow" should consider hybrid learning to reduce the number of students in classrooms.