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Jan. 22, 2021 PPS Weekly COVID update

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Jan. 22, 2021 PPS Weekly COVID update
Posted on 01/22/2021
This is the image for the news article titled Jan. 22, 2021 PPS Weekly COVID update This Portland Public Schools’ weekly COVID-19 advisory covers the time period from Jan. 16 through today, Friday, Jan. 22. 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. 

Cumberland County remains as “yellow” in the Maine Department of Education’s color-coded county rating system, due to an increase in cases in the county and positivity rates exceeding statewide averages. MDOE plans to next update the ratings on Jan. 29. 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. 16 through Jan. 22: 

Casco Bay High School: 1 positive,10 close contacts
Central Office: 1 positive, 11 close contacts
Deering High School: 1 positive, 12 close contacts
East End Community School: 2 positives, 0 close contacts
Lincoln Middle School: 2 positives, 0 close contacts
Lyman Moore Middle School: 4 positives, 6 close contacts
Portland High School: 1 positive, 0 close contacts
Rowe Elementary School: 1 positive, 0 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. 

Outbreak Declarations

Portland High School: Portland High School families and students were informed Jan. 19 that the Maine CDC determined that the recent cases at Portland High School constituted an outbreak of COVID-19. An outbreak means that there are three or more cases of COVID-19 within a 14-day period that are epidemiologically linked. An outbreak does not necessarily warrant a school closure. Since the district had already executed the appropriate measures to respond to those recent cases, including notifying and quarantining all close contacts and implementing enhanced cleaning protocols, it was determined it was safe to remain in school. See letter to PHS community.

Learn about the procedures for outbreaks and school closures

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.