State changes color designation for York Co. schools, Penobscot Co. stays green

Schools in Penobscot County stayed green.
School reopening plans amid COVID-19
School reopening plans amid COVID-19(AP images)
Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 12:17 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - The state has moved York County from green to yellow under its Health Advisory System for the reopening of schools as the county sees a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah said that about half of all outbreaks his agency is investigating are in York County.

That includes an outbreak at the York County Jail where more than 70 cases have been reported, and the Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford where 10 cases have been reported.

Shah said Thursday during his most recent COVID-19 briefing that there is strong ongoing, sustained transmission of the virus in York County.

The positivity rate in the county over the past two weeks is 1.8%, which is three times the state rate. The rate of new cases is also 7.5 for every 10,000 residents, compared to 2.75 for every 10,000 residents statewide.

The yellow designation means schools should adopt a hybrid method of in-person and remote learning.

All school districts in York County were already planning to reopen under a hybrid model, the state said. The switch to yellow was made out of an abundance of caution.

Penobscot County, which was also being closely watched by the state due to a recent outbreak, remained classified as green. All other Maine counties are also classified as green.

York County, along with Maine’s other 15 counties will be re-evaluated next week.

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