AUGUSTA, Maine — Oxford County has been reclassified as 'green' in the Maine Department of Education's (DOE) color-coded classifications for counties' relative risk of COVID-19 transmission. In the update on Friday, the Maine DOE says York County will remain yellow and all other counties remain green.
Oxford County was reclassified from green to yellow in the Department's update on Sept. 25, citing "rapid and significant increases in COVID-19 prevalence."
The Maine DOE says Oxford County has had no new outbreaks in the past two weeks and its new case rate per 10,000 people, as well as its positivity rate during this period, have fallen to be in line with those of other Maine counties.
While York County’s two-week new case rate has fallen in the last week, its positivity rate remains the highest in the state at 1.2 percent. The Sanford High School outbreak remains open.
Androscoggin County continues to be closely monitored by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as well as the Maine CDC, given that its new cases rate per 10,000 and positivity rate remain relatively unchanged from last week.
A yellow designation indicates a moderate level of community risk. With the designation, the Maine DOE asks schools to consider additional precautions, such as limiting numbers of people in school buildings at the same time, suspending all extracurricular or co-curricular activities including competitions between schools, limiting interaction through cohorting, or other measures based on the unique needs of each school community.
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 next update is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 23.