The Ellsworth High School Community was notified late Tuesday afternoon that Ellsworth High School would go fully remote Wednesday March 31- Friday April 2nd because of a positive COVID case and the number of people who are forced to quarantine and the lack of available substitutes.

The letter from Superintendent Higgins is below

Dear ESD Staff Members and Parents of ESD Students:

The Ellsworth School Department confirmed, this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. that an individual associated with Ellsworth High School tested positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  After receiving the report of a positive test result, school staff initiated our response, which included communication with the Maine CDC and following the Maine CDC Standard Operating Procedure for investigation of COVID-19 in PK-12 Schools.

The individual who tested positive received their positive result today and was last present at EHS on Wednesday March 24, 2021. That individual will remain in isolation consistent with CDC guidelines.  Based on our contact tracing thus far, we identified eight staff members and approximately 21 students as close contacts.  Staff members and students who were identified as close contacts and required to quarantine either have been or will be contacted directly by school personnel today and directed to quarantine for 10 days from the last exposure to the individual who tested positive.  Please be reminded that a negative COVID-19 test result does not eliminate the quarantine requirement.

Our custodial and maintenance staff have already cleaned the areas of the school where the infected individual was present last Wednesday consistent with protocols.

Based on the number of EHS staff members who are in quarantine and the lack of an adequate number of substitutes to cover, Wednesday March 31, Thursday April 1, and Friday April 2 will be remote learning days for all students and staff at Ellsworth High School.  As the reason for moving to a fully remote instructional model is due solely to the lack of available substitutes to cover for quarantining staff, co and extra-curricular activities at EHS will continue as scheduled for the remainder of the week.

We plan to return to the hybrid instructional schedule at EHS Monday April 5, 2021.

The Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School will not move to remote programming and will continue with its regular hybrid instructional and co and extra-curricular schedule.

While HCTC will continue with its regular schedule, on Wednesday all EHS students who also attend HCTC (and who are not identified as close contacts) will have the option of participating in their program remotely or in person.  Students who choose to attend their HCTC program in person will need to provide their own transportation to and from HCTC on Wednesday.  Students who opt to provide their own transportation are asked to contact HCTC Director Amy Boles at aboles@ellsworthschools.org to obtain permission to self-transport.  School staff will work on Wednesday to develop a transportation plan for HCTC students for Thursday and Friday. We will issue a separate communication once those plans are developed.

Students who attend the Welding program at Bucksport High School or the Marine Trades program at Mount Desert Island High School will need to ride the regular bus to their program are asked to meet the bus at Ellsworth High School at the appropriate time.

HCTC students who attend MDI, Bucksport, Sumner, Deer Isle-Stonington, George Stevens Academy will use their regular transportation.

As a reminder, COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that is spread mainly via person-to-person contact through contaminated air droplets from coughing and sneezing by an infected person.  Symptoms associated with COVID-19 include:

Most Common

  • Fever (100.4 F/38 C or higher)
  • Chills
  • Sore Throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Less Common

  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Congestion/Runny Nose

Please monitor yourself and your student daily for these signs and symptoms and stay home and contact your health care provider if symptoms start.  Students or staff exhibiting any of the above symptoms, or feeling ill, should contact their medical provider to report their symptoms and inquire about testing prior to seeking in-person care at a clinic, physician’s office, or hospital.

The Maine CDC recommends measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  These measures include wearing a face covering, proper regular handwashing with soap and warm water, maintaining physical distancing, use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water is not available, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and avoiding close contact with those who are sick.

In accord with privacy guidelines, no additional information regarding the individual who tested positive can be shared.

If you have any questions, please contact EHS Principal Dan Clifford or School Nurse Jacquie Sandone at 207 667-6241 or me (Supt. Higgins) at 207 664-7100.  If you have questions regarding HCTC programming, please contact HCTC Director Amy Boles at 207 667-9729