In a letter sent to families Wednesday, Regional School Unit 1 Superintendent Patrick Manuel said one additional COVID-19 case was reported during the three-day closure, adding to a wave of recent cases in the schools. However, Manuel credited the cases to community transmission rather than in-school transmission.
Upon reviewing recent COVID cases with the Maine CDC, school physician and school nurse, “… we are confident at this point that all cases were a result of community spread and that no in-school transmission or transmission during athletic programming has taken place,” Manuel wrote Wednesday.
Three “individuals associated with” the schools tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, leading the schools to move to full distance learning, according to a letter Manuel sent to families on Sunday.
While the schools were “certain there is no in-school transmission as none of the cases are connected from in-school circumstances,” it closed to monitor potential cases to “ensure we do not have in-school transmission,” Manuel wrote to families Sunday.
The closure came after three individuals associated with the schools tested positive for COVID-19 last week, leading the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to declare a COVID-19 outbreak at Morse High School and Bath Regional Career and Technical Center, which share a building.
An outbreak is defined as three or more cases of COVID-19 within a 14-day period, according to the Maine CDC. The school will shed its outbreak status if no new cases are reported in 14 days.
“It is more important than ever to follow all safety protocols whether in school or not, especially mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing,” Manuel wrote. “All new cases impact the chances for in-person classes, a full spring sports season, and celebrating graduation events in-person.”
RSU 1 includes Bath, Arrowsic, Woolwich and Phippsburg.
This story will be updated.