More Maine School Systems Shut Down Amid COVID-19 Concerns
More Maine school systems are sending students home to help prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.
The Bangor School Department, Brewer School Department, John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor and Orono and Old Town schools are among many schools to announce they were closing in response to the coronavirus.
"Fortunately, we are still able to say that COVID-19 cases in Maine are few and far between. It is our hope that this action on our part, and the actions taken by schools and colleges throughout the state and region, will contribute to community health and safety and a faster return to everyday life," Mel MacKay, Bapst Head of School, said in a letter to parents. Bapst will be closed until at least April 27.
During a live Saturday news conference, Bangor School Department Superintendent Betsy Webb announced the city's schools would close March 16 through March 27.
"This decision was made in consultation with many and out of an abundance of caution to follow the rapidly changing guidance regarding enhancing social distancing efforts to flatten the curve," Webb said in the announcement. "This decision has not been made lightly and we certainly empathize and understand the significant burden this will cause families in the coming days."
On Friday, the Mount Desert Island school system announced it will shut down for a minimum of two weeks effective March 16.
"To do otherwise represents a serious risk and overt threat to public health and safety," MDI Superintendent Marc Gousse said in a letter to parents.
Among the other area schools set to close are the Orono schools, Ellsworth schools, Hampden schools, Old Town schools, Dedham and Orrington schools.
You can see a more complete list of closings here.
The move comes after many colleges and universities, including the University of Maine and Bowdoin College, shut down in-person instruction for students through the spring semester as a precaution to slow the spread of the virus.
For more information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website.
For information on cases in Maine, visit the Maine CDC website.