Nine elementary-school students who attend a day care at the former Newburgh Elementary School are quarantining after a day care employee tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Discover CHAMPIONS employee was assigned to a group of students in kindergarten through second grade from Earl C. McGraw Elementary School in Hampden, Regan Nickels, superintendent of Regional School Unit 22, wrote to parents and district staff.
Although there are 11 students in the group, two of them did not on Oct. 30, when the students were exposed to the employee, Nickels said on Thursday.
The day care, run by a national company that offers before- and after-school programs in RSU 22, will close its Newburgh Elementary School site until Monday, Nickels said. A district pre-kindergarten program and the Newburgh town office, both located at the same site, will remain open because no one affiliated with them is considered a close contact of the employee who tested positive.
The nine students who are quarantining spent sustained time with the employee, Nickels said.
The McGraw students are the second group of RSU 22 who have had to quarantine because of a COVID-19 case in or closely connected to the school district.
Last week, the district said that 49 Hampden Academy students and six staff members had to quarantine after a junior tested positive.
So far, RSU 22 and Brewer are the only two Bangor-area school districts to record COVID-19 cases at school, but outbreaks haven’t been detected in either place. Even without more cases in Bangor-area schools, groups of students have had to quarantine on multiple occasions after exposure to people who had tested positive for the virus.
Last month, a dozen Bangor elementary students had to quarantine after an employee at the Bangor Region YMCA, where the students attended an after-school program, tested positive. Nineteen students from four other Bangor-area districts were also exposed to the employee.
In addition, three students from different schools in Bangor are quarantining after being exposed to someone with COVID-19, according to Kathy Harris-Smedberg, the school department’s interim superintendent.
Although schools have largely not been sites of large outbreaks, there have been 145 cases of COVID-19 at Maine public and private schools within the past month. The Maine Department of Education has currently deemed three counties — Somerset, Waldo and Washington — unsafe to open for full-time in-person learning.