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Madawaska School Department informs parents of COVID case

MADAWASKA, Maine — The Madawaska School Department sent a letter to parents via their messaging system Saturday about a positive COVID-19 case within the school department. 

The letter said that the school department has been following safety protocols and that it  will update regularly for transparency. 

“Toward that end, we wanted you to know that we have identified one individual who has tested positive this week for COVID-19,” Superintendent Ben Sirois wrote in the letter to parents.

Though the department would not release more information on the specific school where the individual works, the letter said that because it is so early in the school year, the person had not yet been on school grounds. 

As of Monday, Sirois said the employee “has been cleared to return to work from the [Maine] Center for Disease Control and Prevention and/or the primary care physician.” 

“Our protocols call for anyone who tests positive to notify the School Department right away,” Sirois said in the letter to parents. “Contact tracing for students and staff commences as soon as the School Department is informed of a positive test result.”

The letter went on to say that if a child comes in close contact with someone who tested positive, the parents would be notified immediately. 

“As the pandemic continues, there is an expectation that there will be positive cases within our community,” Sirois wrote. “COVID-19 is everywhere, and many people across the state and country who are testing positive are asymptomatic.” 

Sirois said the school department has been preparing all summer for students to return and that the department is pleased that requested self-screenings helped to identify this case.

“We appreciate the cooperation and work that everyone here at the Madawaska School Department is doing to help combat COVID-19, including your children,” Sirois said in the letter.  “You can help us as part of this process. Let your children know that you support our masking, hand washing, physical distancing and symptom screening each morning before leaving the house.” 

Sirois also discouraged large gatherings of people in close proximity to each other. 

“Let’s work together to keep our students and staff healthy,” Sirois said. “The health and well-being of our school community remains our first priority.”

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