CDC Update: Waldo County moves to yellow, other 15 Counties remain green

Green means a low risk of coronavirus spread, allowing for in-person instruction.
Waldo County moves to yellow in safety rating for schools
Waldo County moves to yellow in safety rating for schools(WSAZ)
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 1:00 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - Waldo County’s school safety rating changed from yellow to green Friday because of an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak linked to a religious gathering held earlier this month in Brooks.

The Maine CDC also announced Friday that the number of COVID-19 cases connected to a fellowship rally held Oct. 3-4 at the Brooks Pentecostal Church in Brooks had jumped to 57. The agency said people who attended the rally did not wear masks and did not practice social distancing.

The Mills administration said it changed the county’s rating because the number of new coronavirus cases per 10,000 people had climbed to 14.4, higher than Maine’s 15 other counties. The county’s positivity rate of 1.4 percent is also higher than all other counties in the state.

All other Maine counties remain green.

According to the Maine CDC, the yellow designation means that the county has an elevated of COVID-19 spread and that “schools may consider additional precautions and/or hybrid instructional models” to lower the number of people in schools and classrooms at one time.

State officials said cases of COVID-19 have occurred at four schools in Waldo County: the Ames Elementary School in Searsmont, Captain Albert Stevens School in Belfast, Mount View Elementary School in Thorndike and Lighthouse Christian Academy, a school affiliated with Brooks Pentecostal Church.

The Maine CDC said earlier this week that the church’s pastor, Matthew Shaw, also works at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast.

A yellow designation suggests an elevated risk of COVID-19 spread and schools should consider hybrid learning. The Maine Department of Education also has a red designation that calls for remote learning only.

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