A person who had contact with a classroom at Eight Corners Primary School in Scarborough last week has tested positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus, Superintendent Sandy Prince announced Thursday.

Scarborough High School officials also announced Thursday that signs would be posted at town playing fields and courts, reminding student athletes and others to practice social distancing and avoid breaking a ban on organized school sports.

“I am writing today to let you know that we were notified that an adult who was at Eight Corners School for a short amount of time late last week has informed us about testing positive for COVID-19,” Prince wrote in an email to the school community.

“The person’s contact was specific to one classroom, and all families within that classroom were contacted late (Wednesday) afternoon,” Prince wrote. “Although we strongly believe that during the time the person was in the classroom, appropriate protective measures were being taken, it is important to let you know this has occurred.”

Prince’s notice didn’t specify whether students were in the classroom when the person was there, or exactly how long the person was in the classroom. Prince declined to elaborate on his email, saying that he didn’t want to violate federal laws against sharing personal health information.

“I encourage everyone to contact their health provider if they are experiencing symptoms,” Prince’s email continued. “This news highlights the critical need for all of us to be vigilant for our health and the health of others. By following the social distancing measures being recommended by the (Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention), we can limit further community spread now.”

Scarborough schools and town buildings, like most across Maine, are now closed to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Prince concluded his email saying, “I know this is difficult news to receive in an already stressful time. I want to assure you that we are committed to providing all of the residents in our community as much support as we can.”

Prince’s notice came as many Scarborough residents expressed concern on social media and elsewhere that some community members have flouted calls for social distancing and self-quarantining to help flatten the coronavirus outbreak in Maine.

Also on Thursday, Scarborough High School sent an email reminding athletes and their families “to follow the guidelines outlined by the medical experts in an effort to fight COVID-19.”

“As they say, ‘it takes a village’ (and) we know these are challenging times,” the email said. “But we want to, with the strongest language possible, encourage all our families to BE SAFE. There are many ways to do this, but certainly one way is to monitor our children (to stop them from) coming together in large groups to engage in athletic activities.”

The notice quoted an email that the superintendent received from a community member, who described seeing a wide variety of activity on town playing fields and courts on Wednesday.

“There was an active game of soccer, a full-pad lacrosse practice, shot put practice, as well as multiple games of tennis being played,” the person wrote to Prince. “If this current situation is as dire as the schools portray it as, I would expect someone to have the common sense to not hold practices at this current point in time.”

The notice from the high school continued: “We have made it very clear that the high school athletic season is currently scheduled to begin April 27th. Any athlete participating in Spring sports who engages in organized group practices outside the season will be found in violation of (Maine Principals Association) rules.

“This behavior will not only affect individual players but the program as a whole,” the high school email said. “We encourage all athletes and families to follow the guidelines outlined  by the medical experts and practice good social distancing, understand that no community fields are being sanitized at this time and there should not be groups larger than 10.”

The email said Scarborough Community Services would place signs “at public facilities reminding people to (1) practice good social distancing skills, (b) know that no outdoor facility is being sanitized at this time, (c) that organized spring sports for high school athletes is a violation of the rules.”

The email from the high school concluded, “Everyone is anxious to get back to ‘normal,’ but it is so important that we work together to ensure everyone’s safety.”

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