REGION — As schools in Maine break for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, SAD 17’s administrative website is reporting that 98 students and staff are in quarantine. That is 33 fewer than last week, and the lowest number since Nov. 20, when an outbreak at Guy E. Rowe School and Norway and a total of 20 positive cases district-wide forced 154 out of school due to exposure.

Rowe continues to show the highest number of people held out, with 38 students and four staff listed.

As of Dec. 15, the district website lists 12 students or staff having confirmed cases of COVID-19. None of those cases have been detected as spreading within the schools themselves. Just last Friday SAD 17 reported that 17 students and staff had tested positive for the virus.

Like last week, Paris Elementary School is closed and fully remote because there are not enough available educators and staff to support in person learning.

Maine Center for Disease Control reported Tuesday that COVID-19 in Oxford Hills communities continues to rise. Paris has more than doubled since last week, jumping from 50 to 102. Norway and Oxford cases have both increased to more than 50 cases in each town.

Harrison, Hebron and West Paris illnesses have gone up, but each reported fewer than 50 cumulative cases and Waterford showed fewer than 20 cases.

Oxford County has seen 240 new cases since last week. As of Dec. 22, there have been 933 residents infected with the virus. Thirty-two have been hospitalized and 12 have died with the virus. Three-quarters of those who have died were part of a confirmed outbreak at a long-term care facility in Canton.

Oxford County COVID-19 stats from the Maine CDC on Dec. 22. Supplied photo

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