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Maine DOE update: All counties remain 'green' for relative risk of COVID transmission in schools

The rate of new cases for school staff and students has fallen by nearly one-quarter since the last update two weeks ago, according to the Maine Dept. of Education.
Credit: Mauro Rodrigues - stock.adobe.com

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE) said Friday that all counties remain "green" in its color-coded system that classifies counties’ relative risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Two weeks ago, the Maine DOE moved Androscoggin County from "yellow" to "green," meaning all sixteen counties in Maine became classified as "green."

Two weeks ago, the Maine DOE said the new case rate in Androscoggin County had fallen by more than 25 percent, and the positivity rate was similar to that of several other counties. The Maine DOE said Friday that all counties have a COVID-19 positivity rate below 5 percent, and the new case rate per 10,000 has fallen in nearly all counties. 

The rate of new cases for school staff and students has fallen by nearly one-quarter since the update two weeks ago. According to the Maine DOE, the new case rate for school staff and students is 30 per 10,000 over the last 30 days, about 21 percent lower than a new case rate of 38 per 10,000 for the general population during the same time period.

The color-coded system was implemented at the end of July to help give schools guidance on how to safely restart school amid the pandemic. All 16 counties got the initial go-ahead from the State, all receiving a "green" designation, though many districts opted for a hybrid model.

Here's how the classifications work:

  • Green: relatively low risk of COVID-19 spread. Schools can consider in-person instruction with required health and safety measures.
  • Yellow: elevated risk of COVID-19 spread. Schools should consider hybrid instructional models to try to limit the number of people in classrooms at the same time.
  • Red: high risk of COVID-19 spread. In-person instruction is not advised.

The DOE said these designations are made out of an abundance of caution and for the consideration of school administrative units in their decisions to deliver instruction.

While the color updates have been issued every two weeks during the school year, the state said it will now shift to updating the color-coded health advisory for in-person learning only as needed over the course of the summer.