SULLIVAN — Nearly 50 individuals in Regional School Unit 24 (RSU 24) have been instructed to quarantine following positive COVID-19 cases detected at the Mountain View School and Sumner Memorial High School.
According to a Sept. 8 letter from RSU 24 Superintendent Michael Eastman, an individual associated with Sumner has tested positive for COVID-19 and 21 close contacts are now in quarantine until Sept. 13.
In a Sept. 9 letter, Eastman reported that a positive case at the Mountain View School involved 27 close contacts who will be in quarantine until Sept. 20.
The Maine Department of Education’s (DOE) current standard operating procedure for investigating COVID-19 cases at schools requires close contacts of students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 to quarantine for 10 days after the exposure. A close contact is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet of the person affected for more than 15 minutes within a 24-hour period or any direct physical contact.
The procedure states that students and staff do not have to quarantine from the classroom if they are fully vaccinated, have had a previous positive COVID-19 test result within 90 days of the exposure, participate in the school’s pooled testing program or the school has mandated mask-wearing.
Additionally, if the school has enforced mask-wearing and students and staff did not have any physical contact with the person who tested positive, the distance students and staff must maintain from a positive case drops from 6 feet to 3 feet.
At the RSU 24 Board of Directors Aug. 30 meeting, the board upheld its previous decision to not require masking, adding a provision that directed Eastman to develop a remote learning option for students who do not feel safe attending school when mask-wearing is optional.
Responding to a question on the RSU 24 Facebook page about remote learning for students in quarantine, the district responded that “Sumner administration has called each family that has been impacted by the current quarantine. Remote/hybrid learning will not look the same as it did last year for students who are out, but they will be able to access their learning daily and will not be marked absent if they are doing so.”
Eastman told The American that students in quarantine would be “accessing their learning using Google Classroom.”