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Jan. 15, 2021 PPS Weekly COVID update

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Jan. 15, 2021 PPS Weekly COVID update
Posted on 01/15/2021
This is the image for the news article titled Jan. 15, 2021 PPS Weekly COVID update This Portland Public Schools’ weekly COVID-19 advisory covers the time period from Jan. 9 through today, Friday, Jan. 15. It includes the number of positive cases associated with our schools during this period and any outbreak declarations or building closures as a result. PPS notifies staff, families and staff at impacted schools immediately when we receive notice of positive cases, but the weekly advisory is an effort to keep the broader PPS community informed. 

The Maine Department of Education (MDOE) continued today, Friday, Jan. 15, to designate Cumberland County as “yellow” in its color-coded county rating system, due to an increase in cases and positivity rates exceeding statewide averages. A yellow rating indicates that there is increased risk of COVID spread in a county. Despite the increase in cases in the community, however, the vast majority of PPS cases to date have originated from contacts outside of school, not from spread within our schools.


Positive cases associated with PPS schools from Jan. 9 through Jan. 15: 

Casco Bay High School: 1 positive, 0 contacts
East End Community School: 3 positives, 80 close contacts
King Middle School: 2 positives, 2 presumed positives, 11 close contacts
Lincoln Middle School: 2 positives, 24 close contacts
Longfellow Elementary School: 1 positive, 0 close contacts
Lyman Moore Middle School: 1 positive, 0 close contacts
Lyseth Elementary School: 1 positive, 13 close contacts
Ocean Avenue Elementary School: 2 positives, 0 close contacts
Portland High School: 2 positives, 0 close contacts
Presumpscot Elementary School: 1 positive, 0 close contacts
Reiche Community School: 2 positives, 27 close contacts
Rowe Elementary School: 3 cases, 35 close contacts

*Note: Some cases have 0 close contacts because those who tested positive weren't at school during their infectious period.

Here is a link to the district’s Report Card on the status of all positive cases to date. Learn about the procedures for outbreaks and school closures

Building Closures: 
East End Community School: The East End School building was closed and staff and students transitioned to full remote learning from Monday, Jan. 11, through Friday, Jan. 15. Because of the number of cases with school exposures from three separate households in the past week, the CDC designated East End School as an outbreak site. The designation did not require a school closure, but the district decided to close the building due to the number of staff required to quarantine, The school is expected to reopen for in-person learning on Tuesday, Jan. 19, the day after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, when all district schools are closed. (Letter to EECS community
Reiche Community School: The Reiche School building was closed and staff and students transitioned to full remote learning on Friday, Jan. 15. The school is expected to reopen for in-person learning on Tuesday, Jan. 19, the day after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, when all district schools are closed. (Letter to Reiche community)

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with 6,500 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 60 languages. 52 percent of the district’s students are white and 48 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced school meals.