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Bangor YMCA reinforces its COVID staff guidelines after one tests positive for the virus

44 kids are now quarantining at home after a Bangor YMCA staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

BANGOR, Maine — The YMCA in Bangor is one of the facilities that was deemed essential and has been open providing child-care services for kids and teens since the beginning of the pandemic.

But that changed after a staff member called in to say she had tested positive for COVID-19. 

"6:00 on Monday night, I got a call that one of our part-time staff who works in our Y academy program in the after school program had tested positive for COVID," Diane Dickerson, CEO at the Bangor Region YMCA, said.

44 kids are now quarantining at home due to the positive test. The Y immediately went into emergency mode and contacted the CDC for guidance.

The Bangor Region YMCA closed its school-age program for two days to deep clean the facility after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

All of the 44 families whose children came in close contact with that one positive patient are aware of the situation and are quarantining for 14 days.
Bangor Region YMCA CEO Diane Dickerson says after this positive case, they are reinforcing the COVID staff guidelines.

"What we have enforced in our staff again and again and again is that if they have a scratchy throat or runny nose, whatever the case is, they are not allowed to come to work and they have to tell us immediately so that we can get them tested," Dickerson said.

Diane Dickerson also says some parents have decided to test their kids.
So far, none of them has tested positive. 

As for the one positive staff member, the YMCA has a partnership with Northern Light where this person got re-tested and her latest results came back negative.

Credit: NCM

"She instead thought it was allergies and went to her primary care doctor and then went to another place to get tested instead of coming through our system so that was the mistake that she made," Dickerson said.

Dickerson says because of this, the Y is reinforcing its protocols.

"If they have any symptoms, whether it's a runny nose, even nothing related to COVID, they are not allowed to come to work. They call us, they tell us what their symptoms are, we get them tested," Dickerson said.

Credit: NCM

12 of those students go to a school in Bangor.

"The parent is the one that can decide whether they want to test or not because the quarantine would then provide that level of safety that we would require for students returning to school," Dr. Kathy Harris-Smedberg, Bangor School's assistant superintendent.

One of the first things the Bangor School Department did to prepare for this COVID school year was..."plans for if there is contact like there was at the Y, and we also have plans for if we find confirmed cases within our schools," Harris-Smedberg said.

One of those plans is to make sure students are still getting their education at home while quarantining.

"It's terribly unfortunate because we've been doing everything so right and so well..."