SAD 1 schools remain open amidst increase in COVID cases
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Several schools within SAD 1 are seeing slight increases in COVID cases but currently plan to remain open, according to Superintendent Ben Greenlaw.
There are currently three active COVID cases associated with Presque Isle High School, two with Pine Street Elementary, and each with Presque Isle Middle School and Mapleton Elementary. Greenlaw announced five of those cases — those from the high school, middle school and Pine Street — in a Sept. 13 memo.
Greenlaw noted that the decision to not close schools is due to there being no evidence of the coronavirus originating inside the schools. In addition, 88 percent of SAD 1 staff members are fully vaccinated, which thus far has prevented teachers from needing to quarantine after exposure to the virus.
Presque Isle High School is now considered an “outbreak” by the Maine CDC due to there being three active cases. Greenlaw explained that schools with an outbreak status must ask all non-vaccinated students and staff members to quarantine. He has not yet announced how many high school students and staff will need to quarantine.
The news about SAD 1 comes amidst a continuing rise in COVID cases in Aroostook. This week RSU 29 in Houlton announced that students will learn remotely until at least Sept. 27, citing a significant increase in cases.