GARDINER — There are now two positive and four probable COVID-19 cases at Gardiner Area High School, according to Maine School Administrative District 11 officials.

Superintendent Patricia Hopkins.

MSAD 11 Superintendent Pat Hopkins sent an update letter late Wednesday night. In addition to the COVID-19 cases that have been reported, 129 high school students and 27 on staff at the high school are under quarantine through either Nov 5. or Nov. 6, according to Hopkins.

Hopkins said everyone who has been in close contact with the individuals has been contacted, but it remained unclear Thursday if the cases involve teachers or students.

“With the support of the CDC (Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention), and school district nurses and administrations are actively contact tracing to identify students and staff members who have been in close contact with the two individuals that tested positive for COVID, and the four individuals who are currently probable positive,” Hopkins wrote.

Close contact for a student is defined as “anyone that has been in a classroom with another person for more than 15 minutes that has been confirmed as COVID positive or probable positive,” according to information Hopkins attached to the bottom of the letter to help families better understand the process.

After being in close contact, the individual must quarantine for 14 days from the date of possible exposure.

On Monday, the district reported a probable positive case, followed by a Tuesday report of two positive cases.

Gardiner Area High School is hosting Election Day next Tuesday, and the gymnasium area will undergo extensive cleaning and sanitation, according to Town Manager Alisha Ballard.

Maine is seeing the biggest spike in coronavirus cases since late May. The state reported 87 new cases Tuesday and another 80 Wednesday.

In her letter, Hopkins reminded students and staff members to practice social distancing, wear masks and maintain good hygiene.

The high school will continue operating in a “red” learning model through Nov. 6, meaning students will have all of their classes conducted virtually.

 

DRESDEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

There is also contact tracing underway at Dresden Elementary School after one positive COVID-19 test was reported Wednesday, according to Regional School Unit 2 Superintendent Tonya Arnold.

Arnold addressed the situation in a letter Wednesday, noting no other person is impacted by the case.

Dresden Elementary School will undergo extensive cleaning and sanitation.

Students will be learning fully remote through Nov. 6. Previously, they were learning under a hybrid model.

The school is part of RSU 2, which two weeks ago had another school, Monmouth Memorial School, report a positive COVID-19 case.

Arnold said no other school in RSU 2 has been impacted by this latest case.

“These situations are stressful for everyone, but especially for those closest to the situation,” Arnold wrote. “Please be supportive and protect the privacy of others, and demonstrate the RSU community compassion that makes us strong.”

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