Local schools are seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, primarily among students. Lewiston has been the hardest-hit, with nine new positives over the past two days.

Six schools and one program are affected, some because of previous exposures, Lewiston Superintendent Jake Langlais said Monday.

He said Lewiston High School was declared an outbreak site a week ago and is still under observation. Two additional cases were reported there Monday.

Other buildings with positive cases are Connors, Montello, Geiger and Farwell elementary schools and the Lewiston Regional Technical Center. The Adult Education program reported one new case.

“The numbers are going up,” Langlais said. “We are seeing a trend of increased positives.”

He said staffing has become a challenge. Schools are using substitute teachers and education technicians to keep schools open.

“Staff have been very gracious with coverages,” he said. “We are working hard to keep schools open. Each day is getting more and more difficult.”

When students or staff test positive, any close contacts — educators, support staff and students — must be quarantined for 10 days.

Because of the high number of close contacts at Montello Elementary in Lewiston — 12 staff and 36 students — that school was closed Monday and classes were all held remotely. Langlais reported three new student and one new staff case there.

“We are working to arrange coverages for Tuesday and we will relay additional information as it becomes available,” he wrote in a letter to the community.

A new student case at Connors Elementary on Monday exposed three educators and seven students to the virus, Langlais said.

That school has 15 teachers and 27 students in quarantine, he said. All instruction will be remote through Thursday.

Langlais reported Sunday that one educator at Geiger Elementary who tested positive had close contact with three staffers and 17 students, Langlais said. The exposures date from April 2, so those affected will be in quarantine through April 12.

Langlais reported Monday afternoon that a student also tested positive at Geiger. Three educators and seven students were exposed.

Students and staff in quarantine have been contacted directly by the Maine Center for Disease Control, Langlais said. If you have not been contacted by school staff or the CDC, you have not been exposed.

AUBURN CASES ALSO RISE

The Auburn School Department website reported 12 new student cases over the past week. A request for the number of staff cases was not immediately answered.

Superintendent Connie Brown said staffing has been a challenge only at Park Avenue Elementary School, where one new case was reported Monday.

“We are seeing an uptick in cases,” Brown said Monday.

The district’s website reported April 2 that two students at East Auburn Elementary and one student at Washburn Elementary tested positive.

On March 31, two student cases were reported at East Auburn Elementary; on March 30, two students at Edward Little High School and one at Walton Elementary had tested positive; and on March 29, two student cases at EL and one at Park Avenue were reported on the website.

An outbreak was declared at Auburn Middle School on March 22.

Edward Little High School fully reopened Monday to all students who choose to attend classes in person.

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