While Benton Elementary School has declared its second COVID-19 outbreak of the school year, Skowhegan- and Pittsfield-based districts have reported new cases of the disease.

MSAD 49

Maine School Administrative District 49 Superintendent Roberta Hersom announced Wednesday that three cases of COVID-19 were identified at Benton Elementary School.

“Due to the recent positive COVID-19 cases reported for the month, the Maine CDC has determined that Benton Elementary School has met the threshold for outbreak, as defined by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Disease Surveillance,” Hersom wrote in a letter published to the district’s website.

This was the third outbreak the district has dealt with since the beginning of the school year and the second outbreak to occur at Benton Elementary School alone.

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

Last week, an outbreak was declared at Lawrence High School after a third case of COVID-19 within a three-day period was identified Jan. 4.

In total, the district has reported 24 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the school year.

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

MSAD 54

Additional cases of COVID-19 have been reported within the Skowhegan-area school district, the superintendent said on Monday.

In a letter to families sent on Monday, MSAD 54 Superintendent Jon Moody said that administrators were made aware of two incidents of COVID-19 at Canaan Elementary School – one involving a staff member and another involving students in a family. Exposure has been confirmed to have happened outside of school and none of the individuals involved were in school at the time of their positive test result.

“There are no additional staff or students who need to quarantine as a result of these cases,” Moody said.

Additionally, he added, a positive case of COVID-19 was detected at the Skowhegan Early Head Start Program, a partnership between the district and Kennebec Valley Community Action Program that services children aged 0-3. The program will reopen on Thursday.

As of Monday there have been 20 total cases of COVID-19 among staff and students, 10 positive cases among students/staff who contracted the virus outside of school and were never in school while contagious and two cases among students at the Somerset Career and Technical Center.

MSAD54 announced in a letter Tuesday on the district website that a district employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

Moody said that one person had been identified as a close contact.

“Because the individual had no contact with students while potentially contagious and no prolonged close contact with staff, only one other district employee is being asked to quarantine as a result of this positive case,” Moody wrote.

MSAD 54 serves students from Canaan, Cornville, Mercer, Norridgewock, Skowhegan and Smithfield.

MSAD 53

An individual associated with Warsaw Middle School has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Superintendent Sherry Littlefield.

In a letter posted to the district Monday, Littlefield announced the positive case and said others may have been exposed, although she doesn’t say how many.

“There is a possibility that other staff or students came in contact with this individual and therefore may have been exposed to the virus,” Littlefield wrote. “We are informing you out of an abundance of caution. Please monitor yourself/your student for signs and symptoms.”

MSAD 53 has had at least three cases of COVID-19 since September 2020.

The district serves the towns of Burnham, Detroit and Pittsfield.

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