December 7 COVID update

December 7, 2020

Dear Staff, Students, and Families,

I am writing to inform you of another positive case of COVID-19 at Benton Elementary School.  A staff member notified the school today of the positive result. Principal Wedge has been in contact with School Nurse Consultant Emily Poland, and I have spoken with an epidemiologist from the Maine CDC.  This case is the third in fourteen days, meeting the threshold for outbreak, as defined by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Disease Surveillance. In the course of the epidemiological investigation and consideration of  factors involved, the CDC in accordance with the agency’s Standard Operating Procedure, does not recommend closure of the school.  Close contacts have been identified and school staff are notifying those individuals of their need to quarantine.  However, with 83 students and 12 staff members  identified as close contacts, there are a number of  staff members in addition to this total who  are unable to report to work due to a variety of other circumstances.  Therefore, out of great caution and concern for the school’s ability to operate without a number of staff, we are closing Benton Elementary School through Thursday, December 10. We will complete a thorough environmental cleaning of the facility and school will reopen on Friday, December 11 when the school will be more fully staffed.

 We are notifying the community in an effort to keep those associated with Benton Elementary informed and to clarify the information we have at this time.  Unfortunately, as cases increase more individuals and schools are impacted. Please continue to monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and stay home if you are sick. 

As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Thank you for your cooperation and continued vigilance.

Stay safe and be well.

Roberta Hersom

Superintendent of Schools