Days after the start of the 2021-22 academic year, several school districts in central Maine have announced positive cases of COVID-19.

Maine School Administrative District 11 began its school year last Wednesday. On Monday, Superintendent Pat Hopkins alerted the community of three cases of COVID-19 — a student at Pittston-Randolph Consolidated School, one at River View Community School and one associated with athletics at Gardiner Area High School.

Because of the universal mask mandate at the elementary schools, close contacts who have been identified need not quarantine if they do not show symptoms of the virus, according to officials. Because masking is not mandated for outdoor activities or sports, however, students associated with the athletics case will have to quarantine.

Hopkins said families have been alerted, but as a precaution, “there is a possibility that other staff or students have come in contact with these individuals.”

In Regional School Unit 38, Superintendent Jay Charette sent a letter Friday — a day after school began at the Readfield-area district — with news of a COVID-19 case involving a student at Maranacook Area High School. On Tuesday afternoon, Charette announced another positive case.

Charette said the student associated with Tuesday’s case had not been at school since last Thursday, but close contacts will be notified.

In addition to the high school cases, Charette said seven positive COVID-19 tests were reported to administrators, but only the high school case required contact tracing because of the “partial student week.” In his letter, Charette reminded the community of the universal masking mandate the district has adopted.

“We appreciate your help in making sure your child has a mask that fits well and has a replacement on hand,” Charette wrote in his letter. “We strive to have a variety of masks in our school offices to replace one from home, if need be.”

In Augusta, a person associated with Farrington Elementary School has tested positive for the virus, according to officials. And on Tuesday afternoon, Lincoln Elementary School Principal Heather Gauthier distributed a letter reporting “an individual associated with Lincoln recently tested positive” for COVID-19.

Farrington Principal Theresa Beaudoin sent a letter to the community last Friday, two days after the first day of school for most students. Kindergarteners started Tuesday.

Cony Middle and High School reported a positive COVID-19 case Tuesday afternoon, according to Principal Kim Silsby.

In Regional School Unit 74, which does not require masks, the district was dealing with a handful of COVID-19 cases even before classes began. In response, the North Anson-based district canceled freshman orientation.

Since then, the district has reported another two cases of COVID-19 at one of its elementary schools, according to Superintendent Mike Tracy. The two individuals were close contacts of the earlier cases and were already quarantining. The district is also awaiting test results for others who might have been exposed.

After freshman orientation was canceled, the school board opted not to approve a plan proposed by Tracy that would have modified in-person learning based on escalating coronavirus cases. Any other policy changes would have to come from the school board, Tracy said Tuesday.

Maine School Administrative District 54, based in Skowhegan, has reported three confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of school, according to Superintendent Jon Moody. Two of the cases involved students who were not at school, Moody said, so there is not great concern about significant spread within schools.

At the Winslow Public Schools, the district put out an online letter before the start of the school year reporting a person associated with an athletic team had tested positive. On Sunday, officials announced a positive case associated with the high school. And on Monday, officials announced a case associated with the junior high school.

In Regional School Unit 3, which serves Brooks, Freedom, Jackson, Knox, Liberty, Monroe, Montville, Thorndike, Troy, Unity and Waldo, the district reported several positive cases last week. And on Monday, officials announced three positive cases — one each at Mount View Middle School, Monroe Elementary School and Morse Memorial Elementary School.

Kaitlyn Budion of the Morning Sentinel contributed to this report.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.