Windsor Elementary School, seen on Thursday, has been identified as having a probable case of COVID-19, school officials said. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

WINDSOR — Two people associated with Windsor Elementary School have been identified with a probable and positive case of COVID-19, the superintendent said, triggering an immediate move to remote learning.

Howard Tuttle, superintendent of Regional School Unit 12, wrote in a letter Wednesday alerting the community of the first case involving a student. The probable case “means that the individual has symptoms associated with COVID-19 and they had direct contact with someone who tested positive.”

However, Tuttle sent another letter Thursday afternoon, with news that there was also a “positive” case within Windsor Elementary School. Tuttle said that it is thought that RSU 12 students at all four schools could have had “limited exposure” to the individuals.

He said Thursday afternoon that the exposure could be from community activities such as day care or after school activities.

News of the second case, and having it be positive, caused RSU 12 to move to remote learning starting Friday and continuing through Tuesday for Windsor Elementary, Whitefield Elementary, Palermo Consolidated and Chelsea Elementary.

The coronavirus cases in Windsor comes days after Readfield-based RSU 38 reported a probable positive case involving a student at Maranacook Community Middle School, marking the first such school case in Kennebec County.

On Wednesday, after the first letter went out to RSU 12 families, Tuttle did not originally choose to have students move to remote learning, because the first case was only “probable” positive.

But now that there are two cases within the district, the four schools in the RSU are receiving a deep clean and Tuttle will look to the Maine CDC for further instructions after Tuesday if more positive COVID-19 cases are reported within the schools.

“Remote learning in one school was not enough, we realized, and students have other places to go after school. And it seemed that all four schools have a real sense of community and (movement) between towns and schools. It made sense to do it for all of the schools,” he said.

Fifteen percent of students in RSU 12 chose to have their classes remote only at the beginning of the academic year.

Kennebec County is still in the “green” zone on the Maine Department of Education colored coronavirus response indicator. Last week, Oxford County, bordering Kennebec County, switched to “yellow.”

Tuttle said that if there are no other cases by Tuesday, RSU 12 plans to resume in-person classes. If the district is given a “red” rating by the DOE, inferring that there is community transmission, the district will have to stay remote until they are given a green or yellow rating.

Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine CDC, said during a Thursday news conference that in each of Maine’s 16 counties, there has been a positive COVID-19 test and the virus is in “every part of the state,” he said.

In his letter, Tuttle asked the Windsor school community to look for signs and symptoms and to stay home if they are sick.

“If your student came in direct contact with the individual at Windsor Elementary School, then you will be contacted directly by the school with directions to quarantine as we wait for more information,” Tuttle wrote. “Deep cleaning will take place in areas where the individual had direct contact.”

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.