LISBON — Lisbon High School is expected to move from full in-person learning to virtual learning after this week’s closure due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Superintendent Richard Green said Tuesday that there are still four known cases of COVID-19 at the high school, as reported Monday.

Families of students have been informed as to what classes and buses were exposed to the virus.

On Tuesday, the school was still tracking each individual student and was poised to start notifying families.

Green didn’t have a total number for how many people need to quarantine as of Tuesday.

The school hasn’t offered a prior remote option for students because the schools didn’t have the staff to teach in the classroom full time as well as remotely. Lisbon schools could fit all students back in the building and still adhere to the safety requirements set by the Maine Department of Education, Green said in August.


There will be a special school committee meeting Thursday to discuss transitioning from in-person learning to remote-only or a hybrid mix of in-person and remote learning at the high school. That decision will depend on how many cases the school has by Thursday.

Ideally, the school would be able to move to the hybrid model, Green said, “because some in-person instruction is better than none.”

Green said that when he initially alerted staff, students and families on Friday that the school would be closed this week, it was to finish a large construction project and due to possible increases in COVID-19. The school received complaints a few days into construction last week as contractors made noise and removed windows with students still in class and temperatures down to 17 degrees. It wasn’t conducive to learning, Green said, but is work that needs to be done by the end of the month and will improve ventilation and heating efficiency.

Although there was only one case of COVID-19 as of Friday, Green said he had anticipated the cases may spike after the Thanksgiving break due to families traveling and gathering in larger groups. The school requires students to wear masks and practice social distancing on school property and aside from making decisions for families outside of school, he said he doesn’t know what else the schools could do to protect students.

Robert Long, the spokesman for the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Tuesday that the CDC is not reporting an outbreak investigation associated with Lisbon High School.

“We do investigate cases to look for epidemiological links, and if we confirm links between three cases, we would open an outbreak investigation,” Long said.

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention data shows that as of Nov. 29, the most recent local data, there have been 66 COVID-19 cases in Lisbon and Lisbon Falls. That is up from 55 cases on Nov. 15. Androscoggin County had 1,591 confirmed cases and 183 probable cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday. Statewide there were 12,333 confirmed cases and 1,716 probable cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday.


“We are just reaching the time within the COVID-19 incubation period when the impacts of Thanksgiving travel or gatherings would show up in case investigations,” Long said.

Dean Willey, the parent of a senior, said the decision to close Lisbon High School this week was the right decision. It’s an added safety measure to help stop the transfer of the virus and allows the school to finish construction.

Willey said his daughter was among the students who learned she’d been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. She had a test over the weekend as did two other members of the household. The tests came back negative.

Willey said he feels Lisbon School Department made the right decision opening to in-person instruction because it is helping students at a time when mental health is a big concern.

“I think Lisbon’s doing a great job,” Willey said. “I think it’s a good thing they sent everybody home so they can actually do the windows that they’re doing, they’re doing the deep clean, they’re doing all that. They’re right on top of things, at least in my opinion.”

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