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Calais schools move to fully remote learning until end of November amid rise in local COVID-19 cases

Calais is located in Washington County, which was reclassified as "yellow" on Friday, indicating a moderate level of community risk.
Credit: NCM

CALAIS, Maine — Due to a rise in local COVID-19 cases, all Calais School Department students will move to fully remote learning for about a month, beginning on Monday, Nov. 2.

As of Friday, Oct. 30, the district plans to reopen to in-person learning on Monday, Nov. 30. However, Superintendent Ron Jenkins also said they will revisit this decision weekly. If it is deemed in the best interest of students to return to school at an earlier date, students and parents will be notified.

Calais is located in Washington County, which was reclassified as "yellow" on Friday. A "yellow" designation indicates a moderate level of community risk. Somerset County and Waldo County are also "yellow"; all other counties are designated "green."

"In Washington County, the site of the Second Baptist Church outbreak, the new two-week, population-adjusted case rate is four times higher than it was last week," the Maine Department of Education said in a press release Friday.

RELATED: UPDATE: Three Maine counties categorized 'yellow' in latest school designations

As of Thursday, Oct. 29, there were a total of 27 cases associated with an outbreak at the Second Baptist Church in Calais. 

"It appears that we may be following the route of other states in entering another wave of the virus," Gov. Janet Mills said Wednesday. "The question before us now is the same one we faced back in March: can we control it? And the answer depends on every one of us. We know that we in Maine are not immune from this virus, this silent enemy."