After 1 hour and 20 minutes of public comment, and over 40 minutes of discussions by the board, the Ellsworth School Board voted 4-0 to require universal masking indoors in all Ellsworth School buildings when transmission rates are high or substantial in either Hancock or Penobscot Counties.

This was a reversal of their previous vote which only required masking in high traffic areas.

The vote came amidst the revelations that there was a COVID positive case at the YMCA Camp which has resulted in 112 children being required to quarantine and a positive COVID case on 1 of the Ellsworth High School sport teams. The Ellsworth American reported that 8 people, 5 staff and 3 residents at Seaport Village have tested positive for COVID-19 this week

There was discussion by the Board about whether to require it for moderate transmission levels, but in the end they decided to include the transmission levels for Penboscot County instead. Board member Muneer Hasham a molecular biologist at Jackson Laboratory argued that the COVID virus wasn't stopping at Holden and a cup of coffee at Dysart's bringing a little levity to at times a stressful and heated meeting.

Ellsworth resident being removed from the School Board Meeting on August 26, 2021
Ellsworth resident being removed from the School Board Meeting on August 26, 2021

1 Ellsworth resident was asked to leave and escorted out by 2 Ellsworth police officers who were present at the meeting.

The meeting was moved to the Ellsworth Elementary/Middle School cafeteria because of the crowd and to insure social distancing. All those in attendance were required to wear a mask, unless speaking at one of the 2 public microphones.

The next school board meeting will be held on September 14

Member Abby Miller was absent from the meeting.

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