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COVID-19 outbreak closes York High School through Dec. 2

The Maine CDC has opened a coronavirus outbreak investigation at York High School; students will move to remote learning until Dec. 2
Credit: Tegna

YORK, Maine — UPDATE Friday, 6 p.m.

Lou Goscinski, York Superintendent of Schools, said Friday an individual associated with York Middle School and York High School has recently tested positive for COVID-19. 

In a letter sent to the school community and staff, Goscinksi said 49 individuals who have been identified as close contacts of the person who tested positive have been contacted by the school department and says those individuals will need to quarantine. 

Goscinski says both schools have been cleaned and disinfected according to CDC guidelines. 

Middle school students will be welcomed back Monday as scheduled, but the high school remains closed to in-person learning through Dec. 2, which was announced Wednesday in light of a declared outbreak.

Original story, Nov. 18

Students at York High School will move to distance learning through Wednesday, Dec. 2 amid a declared coronavirus outbreak at the school, York Superintendent Lou Goscinski announced Wednesday. 

In a letter sent to parents, teachers, and staff Wednesday, Goscinski informed the school community that the Maine CDC has opened an outbreak investigation at the school. He did not specify in the letter the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with the school, but explained that an outbreak is defined by the CDC as three or more associated cases within a 14-day period. 

In light of the outbreak, Goscinski says he has ordered the school building to close through Dec. 2 to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Students will transition to distance learning during this time. 

"York Schools wishes all infected individuals a quick return to health, and will maintain confidentiality in accordance with federal and state privacy laws," he wrote in the letter. "Please be assured that York High School will be cleaned and disinfected according to federal CDC guidelines before the reopening of school."

All other schools in the York School Department will remain open for in-person learning, but Goscinski says he's "monitoring this situation very closely and will provide an update if additional pertinent information comes to light."

Goscinski says the school department is working with a designated contact tracer and the Maine CDC to identify those who have been in close contact with the individuals who have tested positive; they will be contacted directly. 

"I must stress again, COVID-19 community spread is on the rise, be mindful of all the people you come in contact with outside of your family," Goscinski said. "Please wear masks, social distance, sanitize your hands regularly, and continue to monitor yourself and your family members for symptoms. Call a health care provider if symptoms start. Together our preventive steps can protect the health of our students, school personnel, and the York community as well as keep our schools open."

York County is currently designated by the Maine Department of Education as green, but is on the list of counties being monitored as the case rate increases.