PORTLAND — Four individuals at Rowe Elementary School, King Middle School, Lyman Moore Middle School and Portland High School have tested positive for COVID-19. As many as 50 individuals at Portland High will be required to quarantine for two weeks.

“We are informing everyone to be transparent and out of an abundance of caution,” Superintendent Xavier Botana wrote in a letter to parents. “In two of the cases, at Rowe and King, the individuals who tested positive were not at school during their infectious period so there was no exposure within those school communities. There were no close contacts who needed quarantine at those schools. We do expect the other two cases, at Moore and PHS, to lead to significantly more contacts being quarantined – perhaps as many as 50 at PHS. We have communicated with all close contacts and initiated our protocols. If you have not been contacted, then you are not considered a close contact. But we urge everyone to continue to diligently observe our health and safety protocols – wear masks, wash hands and practice physical distancing – and to continue to monitor your students and yourselves for symptoms.”

Because of privacy laws, additional information about the positive tests, such as the individuals’ role in the schools or their grade levels, will not be shared.

“COVID-19 cases are rising nationwide and in Maine and this pandemic continues to pose challenges for all of us,” Botana wrote. “We believe that our district can maintain safe and healthy learning environments if we continue to strictly adhere to our safe practices. Please remember to keep children home if they have symptoms and wear masks, practice good hand hygiene, and maintain physical distancing – not only at school but elsewhere where your family may come in contact with others. That’s our best defense for keeping COVID at bay.”