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Staff member tests positive for COVID-19, prompting northern Maine high school to go remote

Students who are vaccinated may continue to attend school in person, as long as they wear a mask. Masks are otherwise optional in the school district's buildings.

VAN BUREN, Maine — Van Buren District Secondary School shifted to remote learning on Monday after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

Superintendent Elaine Boulier issued a letter to parents on Sunday, saying there would be quarantine requirements for unvaccinated students who were close contacts of the person who tested positive.

"As a result, most high school students are considered close contacts and will have to quarantine for 10 days and may return to in-person instruction on Tuesday, August 31," Boulier wrote.

Students who are vaccinated may continue to attend school in person, as long as they wear a mask, Boulier said, even if they are considered to be close contacts of the person who tested positive. Masks are otherwise optional in the school district, according to a letter sent to parents at the beginning of the school year.

Boulier said there are also a few high school students who are not considered close contacts who will be able to return to school on Tuesday.

Students who are not vaccinated won't be able to attend soccer practices unless they receive clearance from school administration.

"Lastly, due to quarantining guidelines, high school students cannot attend soccer practices until we return to in-person learning unless they have been vaccinated or have been cleared by administration," Boulier wrote. "Please be assured that these decisions are difficult to make, but student and staff health and safety is our top priority."

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