REGION — After reporting a surge of 191 students in quarantine on Monday, numbers at Oxford Comprehensive High School, Guy E. Rowe, Paris and Waterford elementary schools dropped significantly by Tuesday as kids’ isolation periods ended and they returned to class. However, Oxford Elementary School remained a hot spot, with 60 students still held out of school and accounting for more than half of the district’s total.

There were 32 students and staff with confirmed cases of COVID-19, up from the 21 reported last Monday. Only Harrison and Otisfield had no current positive cases.

According to SAD 17’s online quarantine report, four staff members at Paris, Waterford and West Paris elementary schools were out on quarantine, with another three at OES.

In Oxford County, as of Oct. 11, there have been 4,648 cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic and 74 deaths, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control’s website data.

September saw the third highest number of infections this year with 588, following January with 796 and April with 708. The highest daily count was Sept. 29 with 55 cases. Only two days last January, the 12th and 11th have been higher than that mark, with 61 and 87 cases respectively, when the virus was coursing through nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Hospitalizations increased in September to six reported for the month; the two previous months each had four. So far in October, the CDC has reported one hospitalization.

Vaccination rates in Oxford Hills communities continue to slowly rise, with each town reporting at least at least 72% of its population have been vaccinated. Norway leads the region with a rate of 93%. Waterford, Harrison, Oxford and Otisfield are in the low to mid 80s. Hebron is 77% vaccinated and West Paris stands at 72%.


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