An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at Lawrence High School in Fairfield as of Tuesday. Rachel Ohm/Morning Sentinel file

An outbreak has been declared at Lawrence High School in Fairfield after a third case of COVID-19 within a three-day period was identified Monday, and a staff member at Skowhegan Area Middle School has tested positive for the disease.

In a letter posted Tuesday to the Maine School Administrative District 49 website, Superintendent Roberta Hersom wrote that due to the positive cases identified throughout the month of December, the Maine Center for Disease Control has determined that the high school has met the threshold for outbreak.

“In the course of the epidemiological investigation and consideration of  factors involved, the CDC in accordance with the agency’s Standard Operating Procedure does not recommend closure of the school,” Hersom wrote Tuesday. “We will continue to monitor the health environment. At this time, there are no other cases to report.”

Between Dec. 1 and Jan. 1, 12 cases of COVID-19 were identified within the district with seven cases at Benton Elementary School, one at Clinton Elementary School, one at Lawrence Junior High School and three at Lawrence High School.

Two more cases of COVID-19 were identified at the high school Monday, causing the district to declare an outbreak.

This is the second outbreak the district has dealt with since the beginning of the school year, with the first occurring at Benton Elementary School.

An outbreak was declared in December after three staff members tested positive within a 14-day period.

In total, the district has reported 16 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the school year.

MSAD 49 serves students from Albion, Benton, Clinton and Fairfield.

MSAD 54

The MSAD 54 administration reported in a letter on the school district’s website Wednesday afternoon that a member of the Skowhegan Area Middle School staff has tested positive for COVID-19.

District staff have been in contact with the Maine Department of Education and the Center for Disease Control, according to the letter from Superintendent Jon Moody.

The case was a result of contact that occurred outside of school. Staff identified students and staff who are considered “close contacts” based on CDC guidance. As of Wednesday afternoon, all who were asked to quarantine had been contacted directly by the school.

The state agencies did not recommend that the middle school be closed or that actions beyond the quarantining be taken.

Skowhegan Area Middle School will be in session Thursday with students and staff who are quarantining participating remotely.

Moody said MSAD 54 will continue to communicate with state agencies and will provide updates should anything about
the situation change.

The school district serves the towns of Canaan, Cornville, Mercer, Norridgewock, Skowhegan and Smithfield.

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