THORNDIKE — Regional School Unit 3 Superintendent Charles Brown said Sept. 13 at a school board meeting that additional COVID-19 cases associated with Morse Memorial School in Brooks have prompted Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to classify it as an outbreak site.

When a school is identified as having an outbreak, he said, entire classes are placed in quarantine following Maine CDC guidelines. “It’s a lot of students and staff being quarantined,” he added.

Maine CDC will not make recommendations to close a school, but instead leaves the decision up to the district. There is a lot to consider, he said. It is a challenge to go remote because a lot of families do not have the resources. “They have to work,” he said.

In a Sept. 10 letter to staff, students and family, Brown said he would provide twice-weekly updates on the “increasing presence of COVID-19 in the school community,” as well as when positive cases occur in the district.

Currently, at Mount View Complex, there are three positive cases at the high school and 48 people are in quarantine. At the middle school there are four positive cases and eight people in quarantine. The elementary school has two positive cases and 11 people in quarantine.

Elsewhere in the district, Monroe Elementary School has four positive cases and 20 people in quarantine. At Morse elementary school in Brooks there are five positive cases and 29 people in quarantine. Walker Elementary School in Liberty has one person in quarantine.

According to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, people should quarantine if they have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, if they have returned from travel to a non-exempt state or overseas, or if they are awaiting test results.

For those who are not fully vaccinated, to quarantine means to stay home for 10 days after the last known contact with someone who has the virus, then monitor for symptoms for four more days. A negative test result does not get someone out of quarantine early.

For people who are fully vaccinated, quarantine is not required. They should get a COVID-19 test three to five days after exposure to someone who has the virus and wear a face covering in indoor public spaces for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.

People in quarantine should check their temperature twice a day and monitor for symptoms. Also, people in quarantine cannot have visitors. If supplies are needed, someone can drop them at the door while the person in quarantine remains inside with the door closed.

People can can leave quarantine for necessary and emergency medical care. Those who have symptoms should call their health care provider ahead of arriving at the facility.

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