BATH — After discussions with the Maine Center of Disease Control, Morse High School was deemed to be in outbreak status, requiring the school to be closed for 10 days for deep cleaning. According to Morse athletic director Nathan Priest, the cases are not epidemiologically linked, but the Maine CDC recommended a 10-day closure for cleaning. 

To be considered in the outbreak status, there must be three or more positive cases of COVID-19 within a 14-day period. Because of this, all athletics will be shut down at Morse until after in-person learning resumes next week.

“We plan to return to athletics and extracurricular activities on Jan. 23, and proceed with our scheduled games,” said Priest.

Both the boys and girls basketball teams were scheduled to face teams in yellow counties in their first three games.

“We will have to postpone the games we had scheduled on Jan. 22, but hopefully the impact remains at a minimum,” added Priest.

While teams will not be able to meet until at least Jan. 23, coaches are thinking of ways they can keep athletes engaged during this short hiatus. Priest says coaches have already approached him with ideas to keep athletes motivated and involved while staying away from the school.

“It’s important for our student-athletes to remember that the plan is to continue the season once we return to in-person learning, so they should continue to develop their skills where they are able to,” explained Priest. 

In ice hockey, Morse participates with Mt. Ararat and Lisbon to form a co-operative team. The first game is scheduled for Jan. 21, meaning students from Morse will not be allowed to take part in the first game. Lisbon, in Androscoggin County, remains in the yellow designation, and have been unable to practice with the rest of the team for several weeks. 

Indoor track and swimming will continue their seasons as they were either scheduled to begin on Jan. 23 or Jan. 25, the Monday after, according to Priest. 

The Shipbuilders are now scheduled to open their basketball season on Jan. 28. The boys will head to Newcastle, while the girls face the Eagles at home. 

In Richmond, the high school has transitioned to remote learning this week. The current plan in Richmond is for students to return to in-person learning on Jan. 18, something that is currently tentative. 

“If things go as they are planned right now, we should be able to get our teams back in the gym next Monday,” said Richmond athletic director Jonathan Spear. 

After being able to hold team practices for the first time last week, the Bobcats were gearing up for their season opening games on Thursday against Monmouth Academy. The girls were set to travel to Monmouth, and the boys were set to host the Mustangs in Richmond. The games are now scheduled to be played on the afternoon of Feb. 6. 

“We’re fortunate that only one game will be postponed because of this,” said Spear.

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