Wiscasset Middle High School switched to full remote learning Monday after two students and a staff member tested positive for COVID-19, according to a letter Superintendent Terry Wood sent to families Monday.

A third student tested positive the following day, according to a letter Wood issued Tuesday. Contact tracing is under way and close contacts will be notified, Wood wrote.

The school, which serves grades 7-12, will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, Oct. 12.

Additionally, all games, practices and after-school activities have been canceled at Wiscasset Middle High School until further notice.

The closure does not impact students attending Bath Tech or Wiscasset Elementary School, which has no identified COVID-19 cases, according to Wood.

Wood said the district decided to move to full remote learning after “several students” were identified as close contacts of those who tested positive for COVID-19. Those close contacts were notified, Wood said, and asked to “follow the guidelines for quarantining if you have been directed to do so.”

Wood said the school is being disinfected during the closure and urged students and families to keep themselves safe to prevent COVID-19 from spreading within the community in the meantime.

“We have been very diligent in following the (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines and want to be able to keep all of our students in school and we need your help,” Wood wrote Monday. “Please limit the amount of interactions with others when your child is not feeling well.”

These three cases are the first the school district has reported so far this academic year, according to the district’s website. On Saturday, however, Wood sent a letter to families informing them a student from another district that shares transportation with some Wiscasset students tested positive for COVID-19. Wood did not state which Wiscasset students the sick student may have interacted with, but said anyone found to be a close contact would be notified.

According to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education, about 80% of Wiscasset Middle High School staff were vaccinated as of Aug. 31. The departments also state that over 95% of eligible students in the Wiscasset School Department have been vaccinated.

Within Lincoln County, about 67% of children ages 12-19, and just under 71% of Lincoln County residents, were fully vaccinated as of Monday, according to state data.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 1,631 people in Lincoln County have tested positive for COVID-19 and four have died. Lincoln County also has the third-lowest number of COVID-19, sitting just above Washington and Piscataquis counties.

Statewide, 92,365 Mainers have tested positive for COVID-19 since March 2020, 1,036 of whom have died from complications of the virus.

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