Sixth graders at Skowhegan Area Middle School will be learning remotely Friday following the report of a staff member testing positive for COVID-19.

In a letter to the community on Thursday, Maine School Administrative District 54 Superintendent Jon Moody said that as a result of the positive case, 3 staff members and 37 students have been asked to quarantine.

Meals for students are available for tomorrow throughout April vacation next week, Moody said, so long as parents contact their child’s school directly.

Students at Skowhegan Area High School have spent the week learning remotely after several cases of COVID-19 were reported at the high school, resulting in 198 students and staff members being asked to quarantine. Because of the number of staff members impacted, the school had to close, marking a trend in nearby schools.

“There has been no transmission in school and no reason to believe there’s any transmission in school,” Moody said yesterday. “The nurses talk to families every time there is a case, and usually you’ll find out that there’s a clear outside link, either a family member was sick or they had exposure somewhere outside of school. In this instance, all of the positive cases had a clear exposure outside of school.”

Schools within the Carrabec district as well as Madison Area Memorial High School also opted to learn remotely given the uptick in cases throughout Somerset County.

On Thursday, Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention reported 579 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death throughout the state. To date, 1,610 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Somerset County as well as 28 deaths.

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

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