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Bangor, John Bapst and Scarborough latest schools to close due to coronavirus concerns

Bangor, Scarborough and John Bapst join a growing list of Maine schools to close doors due to coronavirus, or COVID-19 concerns

BANGOR, Maine — Editor's note: The above video shows you how to make hand sanitizer. MaineHealth's Dora Mills gives NEWS CENTER Maine the recipe. 

Three more Maine schools have announced they are shutting down for a time due to the coronavirus concern.

John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor announced Saturday that are moving to 'distance-based learning' for much of the spring semester. 

In an announcement on their website, they said they are suspending all on-campus classes until "at least Monday, March 27." 

Bangor Schools Superintendent Betsy Webb announced Saturday that Bangor schools would close for the next two weeks. She said she is using info from many sources to guide the decision making process. 

Scarborough Superintendent Sanford Prince said in a statement released to parents Saturday, said they were going to try and make the best decision for families and staff members. 

"Given the growing concern about the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus across the state of Maine and throughout our nation, we have determined that the best course of action is to close our schools now," Prince said in the statement. 

"We have come to the realization that closing our schools now and taking this time to 'flatten the curve' would be the best course of action to ensure the ongoing safety of all of our students and staff.  Please know that this decision does not come lightly, and we completely understand that canceling school may present many challenges for you."

Prince said the schools will close all of next week through the 20th. The school will release plans for continuing to support the education process on Monday the 16th.

Prince indicated the school district would assess the situation next Friday, March 20th. 

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John Bapst officials said they based their decision on info from the Maine CDC and Department of Education members of the school’s Board of Trustees, and from many medical professionals in the John Bapst community. 

In the John Bapst announcement, officials stated, "Our civic duty is to help “flatten the curve” by curtailing those public activities that could have the effect of increasing community spread."

The school said they have taken the initial steps to prepare teachers for online teaching, and the school will still hold its scheduled staff in-service on Tuesday, March 17, understanding that staff who have to be home with children may have to attend remotely. 

More specifics on the school's plan going forward can be found HERE

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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