DIXFIELD — Regional School Unit 56 has closed schools in Dixfield and Peru for 14 days because of more coronavirus cases.

This is the third time since September schools have been shuttered due to COVID-19.

The district includes Canton, Carthage, Dixfield and Peru.

Dirigo Elementary School in Peru and Dirigo High School and T W Kelly Dirigo Middle School, both in Dixfield, are closed until Jan. 4, Superintendent Pam Doyen posted Wednesday on the district’s website and Facebook page.

She said multiple individuals associated with the district, specifically grade three at Dirigo Elementary School, recently tested positive for COVID-19.

“Additionally, other students and employees across the district are displaying symptoms and getting tested,” she wrote. “There is a possibility that other staff or students came in contact with these individuals and therefore may be exposed to the virus.”

For now, all students are to receive remote instruction, and unless otherwise advised, in-person learning will resume after the holiday break Jan. 4, Doyen said.

Middle and high school students returned to classes Monday, more than two weeks after schools closed Nov. 19 because of four COVID-19 cases at the middle school and a lack of custodians and bus drivers in the district.

Elementary students returned to school Dec. 3, two weeks after the Nov. 19 closings.

The district announced its first school closings in mid-September, also for 14 days, because of the virus.

Doyen said Wednesday that the district has about 750 students, about a third of whom chose full-time online learning and the rest in-person instruction five days a week.

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