Nate Hanson, the parent of a sophomore at Ellsworth High School, speaks in support of a mask requirement at an Ellsworth School Board meeting on Thursday. Credit: David Marino Jr. / BDN

Some Ellsworth children will have to start the school year in quarantine after coming into contact with an adult at an Eastbrook day camp who tested positive for COVID-19. 

Down East YMCA CEO Peter Farragher announced Thursday night that the organization would shut down its Camp Discovery program for the season a day earlier than anticipated due to the adult testing positive. 

Down East YMCA identified 112 close contacts, “some of which” are Ellsworth School Department children, Superintendent Dan Higgins said. 

Unvaccinated kids who were present at the camp on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday would be required to quarantine for 10 days under CDC guidelines, Farragher said. Children under 12 years of age are not yet eligible for the COVID vaccine. 

Camp Discovery serves students in first through eighth grades. Some 1,329 students attended Ellsworth schools last school year, with 740 of them in grades 1-8, according to the Maine Department of Education. 

A final number of children who will have to quarantine was not available Friday afternoon, but affected children will have to miss the first three days of school, Higgins said.

The 2021-22 school year starts on Wednesday, Sept. 1.

The adult who tested positive for COVID was last at the camp on Thursday. 

The news came the same night the Ellsworth School Board reversed course and unanimously voted to implement a mask requirement for schools if there’s a high or substantial COVID-19 transmission rate in Penobscot or Hancock counties. 

The board had previously only required masks be worn in “high traffic areas” such as school hallways. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently considers Penobscot and Hancock counties areas with high levels of community transmission.

Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to