As COVID-19 begins to spread in Maine, The County is taking precautions
The following is a partial list of cancellations and changes related to the COVID-19 virus. Visit our websites, thecounty.me, fiddleheadfocus.com and bangordailynews.com, for continually updated information about coronavirus in your community and in Maine.
AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine — As the number of cases of COVID-19 increase in New England, institutions, cities, towns and schools are taking new precautions to prevent or contain spread of the virus.
UMS is prohibiting all university-sponsored non-essential air travel and is strongly encouraging students, faculty and staff to avoid personal travel to any domestic or international areas with known COVID-19 cases or community transmission of the disease. Chancellor Dannel Malloy and university leaders encouraged students to stay on campus over spring break, which is March 16 -22.
Houlton Middle-High School canceled a student trip to Spain scheduled for April 19-29, citing concerns about COVID-19. The school district plans to reschedule the trip to April 2021.
Special Olympics has canceled all events nationwide through March 31, due to coronavirus issues and will reassess the situation on March 31 to determine if cancelled events can be rescheduled.
University of Maine System Chancellor Dannel Malloy notified all seven campuses that academic classes will transition to distance modalities when classes resume March 23 following spring break, effective until further notice. Universities will notify on-campus residential students to depart campus by Sunday, March 22, with all they need to complete their semester requirements remotely.
The Aroostook League Volleyball Tournament scheduled for Monday, March 16, was canceled by league officials and will not be rescheduled. League officials took the action due to concerns over large gatherings restrictions state wide issued by Governor Mills in light of the coronavirus.
Aroostook Partners in the Arts has postponed their 2nd annual Women’s Art Retreat originally scheduled for March 21 at Washburn Elementary School. A new date will be announced at a later time.
The Caribou Utilities District (CUD) began practicing “social distancing” on March 13. Customers should contact the district with any questions or concerns regarding their water and/or sewer service or bill. This means, until further notice, the CUD main office at 176 Limestone St. will not be accepting payments from customers in person. Contact the office for payment options at 207-496-0911, or email at cud @gwi.net.
University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Seniors Achieving Greater Education has canceled its entire spring season of courses, including the March 21 kickoff. SAGE will refund all course fees to those who have registered for the spring session and will explore online possibilities.
The Whistle Stop restaurant in Fort Kent is taking measures to protect customers including canceling its buffet, no shared condiments, increased sanitization of surfaces and implementation of a delivery service to be announced on Facebook.
The Southern Aroostook Trade Show at the Millar Civic Center in Houlton scheduled for April 4-5 has been canceled.
The Fort Kent Fireman’s Ball scheduled for Saturday, March 28 has been canceled.
The Braden Theater in Presque Isle and Caribou Theater are closed “until further notice.”
The Aroostook County Action Program in Presque Isle will close all offices and child care centers to the public from March 16 to March 27.
The Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce announced on Monday that it would be closed “until further notice.”
All SAD 1 schools will close from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27. Staff will have workshop days on March 16 and 17 in order to plan to provide remote learning to all students.
Schools in Easton will be closed from March 16 to March 27 as a precaution. All staff will be expected to attend as usual on Monday, March 16, to create plans for the remainder of the closure.
All Valley Unified Schools, including SAD 27, SAD 33 and Madawaska School District will be closed until March 27.
In SAD 42, all schools will close as of Monday, March 16, and remain closed until March 30. Teachers will complete their remote school plans Monday, March 16, and Tuesday, March 17. There will be an abbreviated school day on Wednesday to allow students or parents to come in to get materials, supplies and laptops.
The University of Maine at Presque Isle is implementing a policy that limits the use of its public spaces. Starting on Monday, March 16, all public spaces at UMPI — including the Campus Center, Gentile Hall, the Center for Innovative Learning and the Houlton Higher Education Center — will be closed to the general public. These spaces will remain available to students, faculty and staff (as well as tenants at the Houlton Center).
The University of Maine at Fort Kent is limiting the use of public spaces. Effective March 16, all fitness classes will be temporarily discontinued and all UMFK buildings, including the Sports Center, the Library, and Nowland Hall, will be closed to the public. These areas will remain open to students, faculty, and staff.
The Aroostook CA$H Coalition, of which the United Way of Aroostook is a member, has suspended its free tax prep services until further notice due to the COVID-19 virus. Services in their Houlton, Presque Isle and Fort Kent sites are affected.
The Aroostook Shrine Club has postponed its Spring Basket Feztival, originally scheduled for March 27 through March 29. The event will now take place the weekend of May 29 through May 31 at the club in Presque Isle.
The Presque Isle Kiwanis Club and Aroostook County Action Program’s upcoming community education and awareness event on the dangers of vaping, originally scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, March 27, at the Presque Isle Middle School auditorium, has been cancelled until further notice.
The Aroostook Area Agency on Aging’s main office at 260 Main Street in Presque Isle will remain open with access limited to staff only. The majority of staff and volunteers will work remotely from their homes, but the agency will continue to serve older adults, their caregivers, and those with disabilities through telephone and/or computer interactions. All meetings, classes and events are either postponed or transitioned to a virtual format. Congregate dining sites will be closed. Home meal deliveries will be on a two-week schedule. For complete details, contact the agency at 207-764-3396, 1-800-439-1789 or www.aroostookaging.org.