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COVID-19 Cases Prompt 2 More Maine Schools To Switch Temporarily To Remote Learning

Robbie Feinberg
Maine Public File
Two more school systems in Maine are temporarily moving to remote classes because of COVID-19.

Two more school systems in Maine are temporarily moving to remote classes because of COVID-19.The Harpswell Coastal Academy charter school said on Tuesday that it was moving to remote learning until next Friday after a teacher was diagnosed as presumptive positive after showing symptoms and being exposed to another individual who had tested positive for COVID-19.

"The 48 hour infectious period for this individual started late Friday afternoon, after students had left the building but while some staff members were still present," Head of School Scott Barksdale wrote in an email to parents Tuesday.

Barksdale says while the school wasn't required to go remote, it made the decision out of "an abundance of caution."

"We were not directed by the CDC or the DOE to go remote," Barksdale says. "That's the protocol that - our board-approved protocol - for if we have a positive case of COVID-19."

RSU 56 in Dixfield also announced Tuesday that it would close in-person classes through next Friday after reporting additional cases of the virus. Superintendent Pam Doyen says students have been following mask-wearing and other protocols and the closure will be hard on them and on their families.

"For me, the hardest part right now is we just had been back for five days," Doyen says. "And staff and students were really happy to be back in our schools. It's great ot see even high school students just thrilled to be back after we've been out since March. So to me, that's the hardest part."

Schools in Lewiston and Mexico have also recently detected cases. And East Millinocket schools delayed in-person classes until late September after staff, administrators and students tested positive there.

The Maine CDC has reported 526 cases of COVID-19 in people under the age of 20 in the state so far. That's about 11 percent of all cases in Maine.

Updated 3:39 p.m. September 16, 2020