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Maine CDC investigates 10 COVID outbreaks in school districts




School districts that reopened in the fall throughout Maine (including parts of the southern Mid Coast) are experiencing increased COVID-19 outbreaks in just a week or two in the new school year.

The Maine CDC is investigating 10 COVID-19 outbreaks in schools throughout the state, said Robert Long, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Maine.

About 80 children COVID-19 (New Coronavirus Infection) According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he was admitted to a hospital in Maine from August 1st to September 6th.

On the Mid Coast, more than 120 students in Regional School Unit 5, servicing Freeport, Durham, and Pounal, were quarantined on Thursday after 12 COVID-19 cases were detected in three schools. ..

Six cases were detected at Durham Community School, five cases at Freeport High School, and one case at Morse Street School in Freeport. The majority of quarantined students (about 70) were enrolled in Durham Community School.

RSU5 announced Wednesday that both Durham Community School and Freeport High School are currently classified as outbreaks by the Main CDC.

RSU 5 students do not need to be quarantined if they are vaccinated, have been infected with COVID-19 in the last 90 days, or have participated in pooled tests. The pool test combines the same type of sample from multiple people in a single clinical test to detect the virus that causes COVID-19.

“We started the pool test at elementary school on September 20,” Becky Foley wrote in an email. “We know that this will reduce the number of students who need to be quarantined at lower levels because they are not yet eligible for the vaccine.”

According to Foley, many students at Durham Community School during quarantine were expected to return to school on Fridays and Mondays.

The Brunswick Faculty has recorded two cases of COVID-19 since the school began on August 30th. As of Thursday, Kate Farbish Elementary School and Harriet Beecherstow Elementary School each reported one case.

According to Brunswick director Phil Potenzano, about 15 students were needed to quarantine between the two schools. The pooled test is not yet available on Brunswick, but will start on September 27th.

“Overall, I think it was a great start and a positive start. The teachers are doing a tremendous job,” Potenzaino said. “I had a year of experience in how to mitigate the virus and how to keep it out of school, which was sad but very informative to have to do. ”

Ashley Hunter, the parent of Brunswick, who has kindergarten children in the school system, said he was happy with the process of reopening the school.

“I think the mask rules are perfect because it’s too young to be vaccinated,” Hunter said, but said he wanted to see options for hybrid learning models that could help limit exposure to the virus. ..

The Maine Department of Education estimates that 90-94% of eligible Brunswick students are vaccinated.

No COVID outbreaks have been reported in Bus Area Community School Unit 1, Topsham Area Main School Management District 75, and Lisbon School Department.

“There were no positive cases in the first week of the week,” said RSU1 supervisor Patrick Manuel. “Our staff did a great job preparing for the first week of school, and we are excited to welcome all students for full-time direct instruction.”

Efforts to contact Lisbon and MS AD75 supervisors I failed.

Since the onset of the pandemic, more than 5 million children across the United States have tested positive for COVID-19. Last week, about 252,000 cases were added. This is the largest number of children in a week since the pandemic began. According to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics, after a decline in early summer, child cases increased exponentially, with more than 750,000 additions between August 5 and September 2.

The state-wide case rate has been 593.3 per 10,000 people over the last 30 days, and the current 7-day positive rate is 2.90 percent.

According to data accessed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of cases in Androscoggin County has skyrocketed in the last two weeks.

According to the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the new case rate per 10,000 people in Androscoggin County is 834.1. Similarly, the York, Oxford, Kennebec, and Cumberland counties have new case rates above the state average.

As of Thursday, 79,423 COVID cases have been reported throughout the state. According to the Maine Center for Disease Control, 57,011 of them were confirmed to be positive, and 22,412 were classified as possible cases.

Times Record staff writers C. Thater Carter and Kathleen O’Brien contributed to this report.

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