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Persons associated with Fort Kent Elementary School test positive for COVID-19

This story has been updated.

FORT KENT, Maine — Two persons associated with Fort Kent Elementary School have tested positive for COVID-19, but the administration has assured the public that there is no risk to the school community. 

The two who tested positive were last on the grounds of Fort Kent Elementary School on Friday, Dec. 4, SAD 27 Superintendent Ben Sirois said in letters issued Wednesday, Dec. 9 and Monday, Dec, 14.

The initial individual who tested positive, whom Sirois did not identify as being a student, staff member or visitor to the school, did not display symptoms of the virus until Tuesday, Dec. 8. 

“This individual has been in complete quarantine since the evening of Friday, Dec. 4, and does not pose a risk to our school community,” Sirois said. 

“The Department of Education school nurse has been contacted and per CDC guidelines, we do not need to contact trace since the individual was not infectious when they were last in school,” Sirois said. 

In-person learning for all SAD 27 schools — Fort Kent Elementary School, Valley Rivers Middle School and Fort Kent Community High School — were canceled for Dec. 7 due to a COVID-19 outbreak at a local business. All SAD 27 schools moved to remote learning for the rest of the 2020 school year, effective Dec. 8.

“This also ensures there are no other cases of the virus that could potentially enter our schools,” Sirois said. 

The two other Valley Unified school units — Madawaska School Department and SAD 33 — are not affected by the positive test result associated with Fort Kent Elementary School. Schools in those administrative units are currently in a hybrid learning model, Sirois said. 

Sirois pointed out that as the pandemic continues, more positive cases will be identified within the community, but SAD 27 is doing everything possible through consultation with health and wellness advisers and experts to prevent the spread of the virus throughout the school system.

“COVID-19 is everywhere, and many people across the state and country who are testing positive are asymptomatic,” Sirois said in the letter. “We wanted to assure you that we are taking all necessary steps to prevent additional cases or a spread of the virus.”

Sirois also advised everyone to engage in safety measures such as masking, hand washing, physical distancing, symptom screening and to avoid gatherings with large numbers of people in close proximity to one another. 

“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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