Concerns about a possible community transmission of COVID-19 in the Dover-Foxcroft area has prompted the temporary closing of the Piscataquis Regional YMCA and the suspension of preseason athletic workouts at Foxcroft Academy.
Both facilities issued posts on their respective websites Tuesday evening, though no official pronouncement of a positive coronavirus test involving either organization that might be related to the current concerns has been made.
Mandy Adams, executive director and chief executive officer of the Piscataquis Regional YMCA, said she received a phone call Tuesday suggesting that there may have been “some sort of COVID case in the community.”
“I chose at that point after meeting with my board to close the facility for a few days and have a deep-dive cleaning done so we’ve disinfected everything just in case there was any possibility of anybody coming in who may have been in contact.”
Adams said she plans for the Y to be re-opened next Monday, Aug. 17.
“It’s really just precautionary. I wasn’t forced to do it,” she said of the closing. “I wanted to put my members, my staff and the community first and just close down, take some time to clean and come back Monday and resume as normal, but first to make sure everybody is safe.”
Foxcroft Academy head of school Arnold Shorey said he also had received no official word of any COVID-19 cases in the community, but like Adams said the school opted for caution in halting summer sports workouts for the time being.
“We’re working with our medical advisers and following state directives,” he said. “We don’t know officially of any community exposure, but we’re just being very cautious.
The school has not yet indicated when the preseason practices might resume.
“This is the new normal, isn’t it?” Shorey added.
Piscataquis County has had the lowest number of coronavirus cases of any county in the state since the pandemic reached Maine in mid-March, with just four cases as of Wednesday morning, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Adams said she has not been contacted by the Maine CDC about any current case in Dover-Foxcroft, but added that even rumors of the possibility should serve as a reminder that the coronavirus knows no geographic boundaries.
“I did say this morning in a meeting I had with some board members that this probably won’t be the last time that I shut down for a few days,” she said. “We should all probably get used to it.
“I know right now it seems like big news for all of us because we continue to have really low numbers here, and there hasn’t been anything really touching close to home for any of us, but this really makes you think, ‘Whoa, it is here.’”