Lawrence Junior High School in Fairfield will be shut down for the next 12 days due to staffing shortages and possible COVID-19 exposure, officials said.

Meanwhile, the superintendent from Unity-based Regional School Unit 3 reported one new case of the disease.

Roberta Hersom, superintendent of Maine School Administrative District 49, announced Tuesday that recent cases of COVID-19 at Lawrence Junior High School have left the school short staffed.

“Prior to this report of a COVID-positive case, a number of staff were not able to report to work due to a variety of other circumstances, in addition to the eight staff members identified as close contacts,” Hersom wrote in a letter posted to the district’s website Tuesday. “Therefore, out of great caution and concern for the school’s ability to operate without a number of staff, we are closing the junior high building through Friday, February 12.”

The most recent case of COVID-19 identified at the school Tuesday has eight staff members and 27 students identified as close contacts.

Hersom wrote that school staff would “complete a thorough environmental cleaning of the facility” and school would reopen following winter break on Monday, Feb. 22.

Hersom also reported two new cases of COVID-19 at Benton Elementary School with no close contacts identified.

The district has dealt with more than 25 cases of the disease since the beginning of the school year.

MSAD 49 serves the towns of Albion, Benton, Clinton and Fairfield.

Over at RSU 3, Superintendent Charles Brown announced Wednesday that a person associated with Mt. View Middle School had tested positive for COVID-19. Brown didn’t specify if any staff or students have been identified as close contacts.

RSU 3 has eight schools with students from the towns of Brooks, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Liberty, Montville, Troy, Unity and Waldo.

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