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RSU 3 sees its first confirmed COVID-19 case

By Fran Gonzalez | Oct 19, 2020

Thorndike —

A person associated with Mount View Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19 and there is a possibility other staff or students may have been exposed to the virus, according to Regional School Unit 3 Superintendent Charles Brown.

In an email to The Republican Journal Wednesday, Oct. 21, Brown said students and staff who were direct contacts of the person who tested positive were notified by administration and Center for Disease Control and Prevention to quarantine for 14 days.

"We are monitoring the situation closely and making any decisions about instructional models based on daily information gathered," he said. "We will make a formal decision regarding the 4-day return to school model by the middle of next week."

“Due to how our cohorts are set up the students were not in school yesterday,” he said.

Students in quarantine, Brown said, are being offered remote learning during this time. Currently there is no impact to the middle and high schools at the Mount View complex.

“Our facilities staff have conducted a deep cleaning of the affected spaces,” he said. “We will continue to monitor the situation and make any and all adjustments as needed. We will continue on our commitment to provide a safe environment for all.”

In a letter to staff, students and families Oct. 19, Brown said the notice was being sent “out of an abundance of caution,” and that everyone should monitor themselves for symptoms.

Symptoms can include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Many things can cause respiratory illness, Brown said, so students and staff should be up to date on influenza and routine vaccinations.

A Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention staff member or a school representative will contact district residents directly if they are identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive. Close contacts will be asked to quarantine for 14 days from last exposure to the positive individual. A negative test result does not get an individual out of quarantine.

Maine CDC recommends preventive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including proper hand washing with soap and warm water, which is especially important after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. People should avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with people who are sick. They should cover a cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

For questions, parents should contact their child’s school or the RSU 3 health office at 568-4606. For general COVID-19 questions, dial 211 (or 866-811-5695). People can also text their ZIP code to 898-211 or email info@211maine.org.

Call a health care provider for questions about symptoms. More information can be found at maine.gov/dhhs/coronavirus or cdc.gov/coronavirus.

All RSU 3 athletic competitions will be canceled through Oct. 25, though practices will still be held during this time. For more information on athletics, call 568-3255.

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