Carl Gartley, superintendent of Regional School Unit 18, reported Monday that two students from James H. Bean Elementary School in Sidney tested positive for the COVID-19. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file photo

Positive COVID-19 cases were reported linked to people associated with elementary schools in Regional School Unit 18 and Regional School Unit 3 on Monday.

RSU 18 reported two students from James H. Bean elementary school in Sidney tested positive for the virus. RSU 3 reported a positive coronavirus test with someone associated with Mount View Elementary School in Thorndike.

RSU 18 Superintendent Carl Gartley sent an email to the community Monday afternoon detailing the situation at James H. Bean. In the letter, Gartley wrote that a grandparent of two students was exposed to the virus. The grandparent, who was in contact with the students and their parents, then tested positive. The parents tested positive and the students were “immediately removed from school.” The district got word of the two positive student tests Monday.

Gartley wrote that the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention did not recommend any further action at this time.

“They basically said, based on the timeline and the exposure of the grandparent, the children were not in school in any time where they would remotely be considered contagious,” Gartley said in a phone interview Monday. “We have been told by the CDC that there is no risk to the school. I have gone with experts on every decision we’ve made, and I’ve got to keep going with them.”

The CDC did not contact the school. Gartley contacted the CDC.

RSU 18 serves approximately 2,500 students from the towns of Belgrade, China, Oakland, Sidney and Rome across eight schools. The district currently has approximately 85% of its student body learning in-person five days per week. The other portion is fully remote.

A family walks toward the entrance to the Mount View High School that also houses Mount View Elementary and Mount View Middle schools. Morning Sentinel file photo

RSU 3 Superintendent Charles Brown notified the community in a letter posted to the district’s website early Monday afternoon. RSU 3 serves students from the towns of Brooks, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Liberty, Montville, Troy, Unity and Waldo across eight schools.

Brown said in a phone interview that Mount View Elementary School will not have to close. Mount View High School is canceling extracurriculars for the rest of the week.

“For this instance, the contact tracing was minimal to a small handful of students and staff,” Brown said. “It happened to be because of the way our cohorts are structured with an alternating day. … We did ask (about closing) to the CDC directly, and they were like, ‘No, we don’t recommend you close at this time.'”

Students in the district are currently attending school in-person two days per week and learn remotely three days per week. The district is planning a staggered shift to four days of in-person learning per week starting Nov. 2 with elementary school students.

“I am writing this letter to inform you that an individual associated with Mount View Elementary School tested positive for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” Brown wrote in the letter. “There is a possibility that other staff or students came in contact with this individual and therefore may have been exposed to the virus.”

An outbreak of COVID-19 cases has been linked to Brooks Pentecostal Church, and as of Monday, the number of cases is up to 32. Brown wrote a letter Monday night about safety, acknowledging the “prevalence” of the virus in the community and in Belfast based Regional School Unit 71.

“We’re closely monitoring all that,” Brown said. “We will make adjustments if we have to.”

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.