MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE and DHHS Release Dashboard of COVID-19 Cases in Maine Schools

Maine DOE and DHHS Release Dashboard of COVID-19 Cases in Maine Schools

AUGUSTA — Today, the Maine Department of Education (DOE), in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released an online dashboard of COVID-19 cases in Maine schools, complementing the information provided by schools to help parents, students, and staff make informed decisions about their health and safety.

The dashboard lists pre-K through Grade 12 public and private schools that have one or more COVID-19 cases among Maine residents, including those that have had an outbreak of COVID-19 that remains open, within the last 30 days. Cases are included if the infected individual lives in Maine and is associated with the school (as either a staff member or student) and was physically present on campus, including participating in group school activities such as sports. The number of cases is suppressed to protect privacy in any school with fewer than 5 cases.

The Departments will update this dashboard, which is posted on the DOE website, every Tuesday and Thursday.

In the last 30 days, four pre-K through 12 schools have had COVID-19 outbreaks: Sanford High School, Massabesic Middle School in East Waterboro, Community Regional Charter School in Cornville and Skowhegan, and Coastal Ridge Elementary School in York. During the same period, 55 other schools had at least one case of COVID-19, including out-of-state schools with Maine residents. Including both confirmed and probable cases, 112 cases have been associated with schools to date this school year.

The rate of COVID-19 in schools in line with the overall prevalence of COVID-19 in Maine. With 223,813 students and staff in Maine schools, the number of cases represents a case rate of 5.0 per 10,000 over the past 30 days. The rate for the entire state over the same period was 6.7 per 10,000.  The demographics of people in schools differ from that of the state, accounting for some of this difference.

Maine CDC works with DOE to respond to cases of COVID-19 associated with schools, including contact tracing, as outlined under a standard operating procedure. Additionally, DHHS has deployed on-site testing at Sanford High School and Massabesic Middle School in partnership with the schools’ administrative units. The Mills Administration has worked with schools on procedures to prevent and limit school-based spread of the coronavirus. It issued guidance in July through the Framework for Reopening Schools and Returning to In-Person Instruction that has been periodically updated. It has also provided technical assistance and up to $329 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds to support implementation of health and safety protocols during the pandemic.

This new dashboard is part of the Mills Administration’s approach to COVID-19, which is to provide information, support, and policies to balance safety with re-opening Maine’s economy and schools.