School department officials in Bangor and Brewer announced Friday those systems would extend online instruction through April 17 with hopes of reopening schools on April 27.

The extended closures at those and other regional schools come as schools try to limit public contact in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

"Governor Mills recently announced that all Maine schools should cease classroom-based instruction for the duration of the recently announced civil emergency which is, initially, a 30-day period. The local area Penquis Superintendents’ Association has agreed that all school districts in our region continue with the current school closure through April 17th, then break for the scheduled April Vacation," reads a letter to parents sent by Brewer superintendent Gregg Palmer.

In Bangor, Superintendent Betsy Webb told parents:

"We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and if we are able, we will reopen schools on April 27th. This is our hope, but we must continue to prioritize the health and safety of all. Please know we will continue to monitor and update you."

The regional closures also include the following districts: Airline CSD, AOS 43, AOS 94, Bangor, Bowerbank, Brewer, Burlington, CTE Region 3, CTE Region 4, East Millinocket, Glenburn, Greenbush, Hermon, Kingsbury, Lowell, Medford, Medway, Milford, Millinocket, RSU 19, RSU 22, RSU 26, RSU 34, RSU 63/MSAD 63, RSU 64/MSAD 64, RSU 67, RSU 68/MSAD 68, RSU 80/MSAD 4, RSU 87/MSAD 23, Sebeois Plantation, Shirley, Union 60, Veazie, Willimantic, Woodville.

Many area schools originally sent students home for two weeks.

For more information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website.

For information on cases in Maine, visit the Maine CDC website.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app