Brewer Community School has seen 45 cases of COVID-19 among students and staff in the past 30 days, more than any other Maine school. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Brewer Community School has recorded more COVID-19 cases among students and staff than any other school in Maine over the past 30 days.

The 900-student school that serves students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight has seen 45 cases of COVID-19 in that span, according to data published by the Maine Department of Education on Thursday afternoon.

Statewide, there are 113 schools with active outbreaks of the disease, which means the schools have seen three or more linked cases over a 14-day period. That’s about 15 percent of all Maine schools.

Students at Brewer Community School just returned to in-person classes on Monday after more than a week of remote learning due to COVID-19 cases.

The school had recorded 38 cases as of a week ago, according to the Maine Department of Education, which updates school case data every Thursday.

Gregg Palmer, the superintendent of schools in Brewer, noted that Brewer Community School is the largest K-8 school in the state, with most students under the age of 12 and therefore ineligible to be vaccinated. Those factors and elevated case rates in Penobscot County clearly contributed to the high case numbers, he said.

Most of the cases were recorded before the school’s temporary switch to remote learning, he said. Since students have returned, the school has kicked off its pool testing program that tests participating students and staff regularly. So far, that testing has turned up only a few positive results at Brewer Community School and none at Brewer High School, Palmer said.

“The reality is that BCS has done a great job with mitigation to keep spread from occurring at school and helping our families to manage cases happening out in the community,” the superintendent said.

The school with the next highest number of cases over the past 30 days was Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, which had 36 cases.

Brewer Community School is far from the only school in the Bangor area with an active COVID-19 outbreak. Bangor High School has seen 21 cases over the past 30 days, while Old Town High School has seen 19 and Hampden Academy has seen 20.

While Brewer High School didn’t shift to remote learning when the community school did, it’s also the site of an active outbreak, with 14 cases recorded.

Penobscot County has been particularly hard hit by the spread of the contagious delta variant. It’s the county with the second highest rate of new cases over the past four weeks, behind Piscataquis County, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.