Ellsworth School District Superintendent Dan Higgins sent a letter to parents Monday afternoon, November 30th, announcing that all Ellsworth Schools, including the Elementary-Middle School, High School, Hancock County Technical Center and Ellsworth Adult Education would be remote on Tuesday, December 1st.

Dear ESD Staff Members and Parents of ESD Students:

The Ellsworth School Department confirmed, late this afternoon, that an individual associated with the Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School tested positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  Designated 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 will remain in isolation and quarantine consistent with CDC guidelines.  As of 4:30 p.m. we have identified thirteen staff members and eighteen students as close contacts.  Students and staff members who are required to quarantine will be contacted directly by school personnel and CDC contact tracers. Close contacts will be directed to quarantine for 14 days from the last exposure to the individual who tested positive.  A negative test result does not eliminate the quarantine requirement.

Out of an abundance of caution, to permit additional cleaning in the rooms and areas of the school where the infected individual was present, and to permit additional time to finalize the contact tracing process, Tuesday December 1, 2020 will be a “remote learning day” for all students and staff at Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School.  As further contact tracing may result in close contacts being identified at our other schools, Tuesday December 1, 2020 will also be a “remote learning day” for all students and staff at Ellsworth High School, Hancock County Technical Center, and for the Ellsworth Adult Education program.  Our staff will continue with contact tracing efforts tomorrow.

As we will have thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the kitchen at EEMS, breakfast and lunch meals will be available for pick-up at EEMS from 11:00 a.m. through 12:00 noon tomorrow (December 1).  Please call the EEMS kitchen at 667-6494, Ext 4 before 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning to arrange for meal pick up.

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 avoid close contact with those who are sick.

In accord with privacy guidelines, no additional information regarding the individual who tested positive can be shared.
Our intent once we complete cleaning of the affected rooms and the contact tracing process is to return to the hybrid instructional schedule.  We will continue to monitor the situation and issue a follow-up communication tomorrow to confirm the date of return.

If you have any questions, please contact EES Principal April Clifford or EMS Principal Erica Gabbianelli at 207 667-6241 or me (Dan Higgins) at 207 664-7100

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