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Casco Bay High School closes early due to flu outbreak

Over 40 percent of students and staff were absent from illness, the school said on Friday.

PORTLAND, Maine — A flu outbreak led to an early dismissal at Casco Bay High School in Portland on Friday.

Over 40 percent of students and staff were absent from illness, a news release from the high school said Friday.

According to the release, the high school is now "considered to be in outbreak status for flu by the Maine Center for Disease Control."

In order for the Maine CDC to declare an outbreak status, there must be at least 15 percent of students and staff out of school from illness.

Casco Bay High School made the decision to close early at 11:50 a.m. rather than its original dismissal time at 2:50 p.m., the release said. Students were still able to grab school lunches before the early dismissal.

The release said Casco Bay High School Principal Derek Pierce issued a letter to the school community extending thanks to the school nurse, Becky Bell, for her hard work in managing the outbreak, as well as the custodial crew for their help in deep cleaning the building over the weekend.

"We anticipate the weekend will allow enough recovery time for us to resume normal operations on Monday," Pierce wrote in the letter. "We will keep you updated and let you know if circumstances change."

The high school is expected to reopen on Monday.

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