The sun shines on the entrance to Clint Ritchie Gymnasium at Sumner Memorial High School in Sullivan in this January 2019 file photo. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

Two positive COVID-19 cases in Regional School Unit 24 in eastern Hancock County have resulted in nearly 50 students and staff at two different schools having to go into quarantine.

One case at Sumner Memorial High School in Sullivan resulted in 21 people considered close contacts having to quarantine, RSU 24 Superintendent Michael Eastman said in a letter last week to students, families and staff in the school district. The following day, he sent out another letter saying that because of a separate positive case at Mountain View School, an additional 27 close contacts with that case have had to go into quarantine.

The 27 people connected with the case at Mountain View, a K-8 school in Sullivan, are expected to return to the school next Monday, Eastman said.

The 21 people connected with the Sumner case who had to quarantine were allowed to return to the high school on this Monday, Eastman said. He said the school learned of that case and sent out the letter about a week after it was first diagnosed.

“It was right in the beginning of school,” Eastman said Wednesday.

There are 207 students enrolled at Mountain View and 266 students enrolled at Sumner, he said.

RSU 24 does not require masks for students or staff but has made remote learning an option for students whose families want to minimize their potential exposure to the disease, the Ellsworth American reported.

RSU 24 is comprised of the towns of Eastbrook, Franklin, Gouldsboro, Mariaville, Sorrento, Steuben, Sullivan, Waltham and Winter Harbor. Enrollment in the RSU’s five schools was close to 1,000 students during the 2019-20 school year but with some families opting for homeschooling as the pandemic continues, district-wide enrollment this school year has dropped to around 800 students, Eastman said.

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....