The Star-Herald

SAD 42 superintendent says positive COVID-19 numbers coming from community

MARS HILL, Maine — Thirteen people in SAD 42 have now tested positive for COVID-19, just as the district begins a period of remote learning to initiate contact tracing and quarantines, Superintendent Elaine Boulier said on Sunday.

Last Thursday both schools within SAD 42 — Fort Street Elementary School and Central Aroostook High School — began teaching students remotely after two people tested positive. Since then five more people have received positive test results. An additional six people, who did not return to the schools in person on Jan. 4, also tested positive.

“These positive cases were a result of scenarios that occurred in our community and a neighboring community prior to school going back in session [on Jan. 4],” Boulier said, in a letter to families. “The positive cases thus far have not emanated from within the school.”

Boulier said that 150 people have been identified as close contacts of those who have tested positive, including staff members, and are quarantining for at least 10 days. Teachers who are able to enter the school will communicate with students from their classrooms while others will provide instruction from home.

All after-school activities and sports for SAD 42 have been canceled and will resume after students return for in-person learning. Boulier said that the “tentative” return date is still Tuesday, Jan. 19.

The district is providing free lunch deliveries to all families each day beginning at 10:30 a.m. Staff will leave meals on near the front door or on the porch to avoid direct contact with families.

Boulier urged families to remain vigilant in preventing COVID-19 and following CDC guidelines.

“Even though we are in remote learning mode, it is extremely important that any positive findings be reported to the school nurse,” Boulier said. “In particular, the nurse needs to know when symptoms started to appear, if/when testing was done and what the results of testing were.”

Families with questions about the remote learning period can contact Boulier at 207-425-3771.

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