Jon Moody, superintendent of Maine School Administrative District 54, addresses the district’s board of directors in August. On Friday, Moody said a probable positive case of COVID-19 at Canaan Elementary School has led to 47 students and nine staff members quarantining at home. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

CANAAN — Students from two of the three classrooms at Canaan Elementary School are now quarantining at home after a probable positive case of COVID-19 was reported Friday to administrators.

The latest report brings the number of probable cases at the school to two, with one confirmed case of COVID-19 infection, according to officials.

Jon Moody, the superintendent in Maine School Administrative District 54, said the confirmed positive case involves a staff member.

Under the direction of the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, the two classrooms will be quarantined, with 47 students and nine staff members sent home.

Students were equipped with “learning devices” when they left school Friday, according to Moody.

The additional probable positive case, like the other cases the district has had, was reportedly a result of contact with an individual outside of school.


“We will be working with Maine CDC and our local community partners over the course of the weekend to determine next steps,” Moody said in the letter. “A positive aspect of this investigation is that it has affirmed that school cohorting and masking have had their intended effect in limiting the spread of COVID-19.”

The letter was sent just after Somerset County was deemed “yellow” under the Department of Education’s reopening advisory system. On Friday, 103 new infections were reported, making it the state’s highest single-day spike in coronavirus cases.

“Until further notice, all sports, competitions and after-school activities will no longer occur in person,” said Moody, who leads a school district that includes Canaan, Cornville, Mercer, Norridgewock, Smithfield and Skowhegan.

The district was already operating under a hybrid-cohorting approach, and Moody said administrators did not anticipate any changes as a result of the “yellow” designation for Somerset County.

Earlier this month, the district sent students home to work remotely for two days after a student at Skowhegan Area High School tested positive for COVID-19. Two days later, a student at Mill Stream Elementary School in Norridgewock tested positive. In both cases, it was determined the students’ contact with the virus occurred outside of school.

Students in prekindergarten through sixth grade are learning in person five days a week, while grades seven through 12 are learning under a hybrid model divided by last names.

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