BRUNSWICK — Brunswick school officials reported Friday that another person has tested positive for COVID-19 at Kate Furbish Elementary School.

The department, which includes Kate Furbish Elementary, Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary, Brunswick Junior High and Brunswick High, has reported 43 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since reopening in the fall.

The new case is the 13th overall at Kate Furbish. The previous 12 cases are listed as recovered. As of Monday, it is the only active case reported by the Brunswick School Department.

The school department did not indicate whether it was a student or staff member who tested positive.

In past cases, Kate Furbish Elementary Principal Steve Ciembroniewicz said he doesn’t believe any transmission of the coronavirus has taken place in the school and that those who contracted the virus were infected elsewhere.

Superintendent Phil Potenziano wrote on Friday that Brunswick school officials are working with the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to undertake additional contact tracing requirements.

The letter also said that individuals who were close to the infected person have been contacted.

Kate Furbish Elementary is currently operating in a two-cohort in-person system, where one group of students come to school on Monday and Tuesday, and the other on Thursday and Friday. There is also a group of students who are completely remote.

It is the only reported case from the Brunswick School Department since students returned from February break.

In a letter to the community on Feb. 10, Potenziano stated the guidelines for domestic and international travel regarding the school’s February break.

“There’s no doubt about it; we are in the heart of winter,” Potenziano said. “The weather is cold, the nights are long, and we are all experiencing ‘COVID fatigue.'”

Potenziano wrote that, even with a negative COVID test, students and staff who traveled internationally would not be permitted inside school buildings for a minimum of 7 days.

On Feb. 12, the Maine Department of Education designated all 16 Maine counties under “green,” meaning that in-person instruction is permitted so long as the required health and safety precautions are followed.

Regional School Unit 5, which encompasses seven schools with students from Durham, Freeport and Pownal, also reported a new case on March 1.

In a letter to staff and families, Regional School Unit 5 Superintendent Becky Foley said that a staff member at Durham Community School tested positive for COVID-19, bringing RSU 5’s cumulative cases to 7 staff members and 24 students, for a total of 31 cases. RSU5 communities include Freeport, Durham and Pownal.

As of Thursday, there have been 563 total reported COVID-19 cases in Maine schools in the last 30 days, according to the Maine Department of Education.

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