The Maine Arts Academy in Sidney dismissed students early Monday morning due to a probable positive COVID-19 case, school officials said.

The report came as schools in Canaan, Norridgewock, Oakland and South China were also impacted by positive cases of COVID-19 over the weekend and Monday, their respective districts announced.

Statewide on Monday, the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention reported 201 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death.

At the arts academy, students at the charter school will be learning remotely the remainder of the week and were not required to sign into classes Monday afternoon. Friday is a scheduled work make-up day. The following week is February vacation, so students will not return to campus until Monday, Feb. 22.

Maine Arts Academy, located at the Snow Pond Center for the Arts, serves 250 students from nearly 80 different communities. This was the fourth case associated with the school.



Erskine Academy Headmaster Michael J. McQuarrie informed the school’s community Sunday of a positive case associated with the private high school in South China. This is the sixth case associated with the school to date.

The case was unrelated to others and transmission occurred outside of school, McQuarrie said. Located in South China, Erskine Academy has 540 students. The school is private, but students from Chelsea, China, Jefferson, Palermo, Somerville, Vassalboro, Whitefield and Windsor receive public funding to attend it as a high school option.


Maine School Administrative District 54 reported three COVID-19 cases across the district Monday. Superintendent Jon Moody wrote in a letter to the community regarding two cases associated with Canaan Elementary School and one case in fifth grade associated with Mill Stream Elementary School in Norridgewock.

There have now been 31 cases associated with the district, which serves Canaan, Cornville, Mercer, Norridgewock, Skowhegan and Smithfield.

At Canaan Elementary School, one student and one staff member tested positive. The cases were unrelated, but impact two separate classrooms.


“We recognize that both of these situations are incredibly trying, both for those directly involved and also for those left wondering if our schools are safe,” Moody wrote. “I can assure you that our schools are safe. Today Maine CDC confirmed what we have heard and seen in print, that our schools are neither the cause of the virus, nor are they places where spread is regularly occurring.”


Messalonskee Middle School in Oakland on Sunday announced a COVID-19 case and potential exposure within the building. The school did not have to close, but one of the sixth grade teams had to go fully remote for the remainder of the week.

In a letter to the community, RSU 18 Superintendent Carl Gartley said contact tracing narrowed down where the individual came in contact with someone who had tested positive.

Messalonskee Middle School serves 496 students from Belgrade, Oakland, Rome and Sidney.

“While this contact very likely happened outside of school, once it comes into our schools, we will continue to take serious precautions to do everything we can to keep people safe,” Gartley wrote.

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