More then 90 students and staff in Portland Public Schools are being asked to quarantine following a report of a fifth active coronavirus case in the district.

Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana on Tuesday reported the district’s fifth active case of the virus at East End Community School. In a letter to families, Botana said the district has communicated with all close contacts of the positive individual and protocols are being followed. He did not say whether the affected individual is a student or staff member.

The case at East End follows a report Friday of four cases distributed among four Portland schools: Amanda C. Rowe Elementary, King Middle School, Lyman Moore Middle School and Portland High School.

Portland schools also announced Wednesday that due to the rise of COVID cases in Maine and around the country, the district will now be creating a weekly report card of cases in schools to keep the public informed.

On Wednesday the report card was showing six COVID cases to date in city schools, one of which has since recovered. Ninety-one individuals identified as close contacts are currently in quarantine, including 17 at the elementary level, 21 at the middle school level and 53 at the high school level. A total of 125 people have been quarantined to date.

In his letter to East End families Tuesday, Botana said close contacts are determined by classroom configurations and must quarantine for 14 days from exposure. Other possible exposures, such as on a school bus or in an after-school program, are also looked at as the district identifies close contacts.

Deep cleaning of spaces takes place after a case is reported, and the district also provides free testing for symptomatic students and staff through a partnership with Greater Portland Health.

Coronavirus numbers in Maine are currently surging, with a record 151 cases reported around the state Wednesday. In the last 30 days schools around Maine have reported 145 cases, most of which have been isolated, though the Maine Department of Education has reported five outbreaks in schools among those cases.


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