Oxford County was moved from moderate to low risk category for coronavirus risk Friday by the Maine Department of Education.

The color-coded system means Oxford County has moved from “yellow” to “green,” permitting schools to conduct more in-person learning, and high school sports practices and games can resume.

The Mills Administration announced Sept. 25 that Oxford County was reclassified from “green” to “yellow.”

The change didn’t surprise at least one school district leader.

“It wasn’t unexpected,” said David Murphy, superintendent of School Administrative District 44 in Bethel. “The levels certainly seemed to drop off based on everything I was reading in the Sun Journal over the past week. So the return to green for us means that we’ll return to offering the after-school
activities and sports activities that we had put on hold when we went

Murphy said that since a hybrid model was offered by the school system,
roughly 80% of students had chosen in-school as opposed to remote

“The way that we have our system set up now, our hybrid approach was
really giving parents the option of having their students in person or
remote. We’re lucky because we’re small enough that we could accommodate
that, so as far as in-person goes, I don’t anticipate seeing any changes
in that.”

Pam Doyen, superintendent of Regional School Unit 56 in Dixfield, said likewise, schools in her district had been in a hybrid model since the area was classified as a moderate risk. Starting Tuesday, the schools will return to a
full in-school schedule, she said, for those who choose that option.

“It’s important to just be flexible,” Doyen said, “and do what’s best
for kids all the time.”

Comments are not available on this story.