#schoolsafety | As many as 50 face quarantine at Portland High School

Portland school officials have detected four cases of COVID-19 among four different schools that could force up to 50 people at Portland High School into quarantine, administrators said Friday.

One person each tested positive at Rowe Elementary School, King Middle School, Lyman Moore Middle School and Portland High School, Superintendent Xavier Botana said in a community letter Friday.

Botana did not identify the people who tested positive or specify what their roles were at their respective schools, citing health privacy rules. He did not say what condition they were in, either.

The positive cases from Rowe and King were not at school during their infectious period, which means they did not have close contact with anyone at school, he said.

“We do expect the other two cases, at Moore and (Portland High School), to lead to significantly more contacts being quarantined – perhaps as many as 50 at PHS,” he said in the letter.

Close contacts have already heard from health authorities or school officials, Botana said.

The superintendent of schools also urged community members to follow pandemic safety guidelines, including wearing masks, practicing hand hygiene, maintaining physical distance and keeping children home if they show symptoms of illness.

“We are hoping for the speedy recovery of our community members,” Botana said in the letter. “COVID-19 cases are rising nationwide and in Maine and this pandemic continues to pose challenges for all of us. We believe that our district can maintain safe and healthy learning environments if we continue to strictly adhere to our safe practices.”

This story will be updated.

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