POLAND — Bruce M. Whittier Middle School and Poland Regional High School will be closed this week to in-person instruction after two positive cases of COVID-19 were discovered at the middle school.

Each school will switch to fully remote learning Monday, according to officials in Regional School Unit 16, which oversees both schools.

The schools, which share common space, will undergo extra cleaning and disinfection this week so they can resume their regular schedules after the Thanksgiving break.

Superintendent Kenneth Healey said in a message Sunday to staff, students and families the high school will reopen Monday, Nov. 30, while the middle school will remain shuttered until Friday, Dec. 4.

The closures, he said, will provide time for cleaning and for officials “to complete the necessary contact tracing” for the cases impacting both cohorts A and B at the middle school.

“As the contact tracing continues, please be alert that CDC and school officials may be contacting you to determine whether your child is a close contact,” Healey said.

“Close contacts will be asked to quarantine for 14 days from last exposure to the positive individual. A negative test result does not get an individual out of quarantine.”

Healey urged district staff, students and families to watch for signs and symptoms of the highly contagious, potentially deadly disease that is hitting the state harder as the weather grows colder.

“Call a health care provider if symptoms start,” Healey said. “It is important that you call a health care facility before you show up in person.”

Although many people who test positive for COVID-19 never experience any symptoms, others do. Among the signs of infection are fevers, coughs, breathing difficulty, headaches, a loss of taste or smell, nausea, diarrhea and fatigue.

Questions for the school can be directed to the school nurse by calling the school, Healey said.

For general COVID-19 questions, he urged people to dial 211 or 1-866-811-5695.


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