Covid Update: September 30
At his regular press briefing on Tuesday, September 29, Dr. Nirav Shah of Maine CDC announced that Covid-19 tests had been conducted at Sanford High School on Friday and Saturday, and all results were in. There were only three new positive cases detected out of the 905 tests, making a total of 18 cases now in the SHS/SRTC outbreak. He said they had planned to conduct up to 1500 tests at the school, but that some students, faculty and staff members may have had tests done by their own health care providers or at another swab and send site.
Everyone at SHS/SRTC is considered a “close contact” of the positive cases, and must quarantine for 14 days even if their own test is negative.
Dr. Shah also announced two new outbreaks in our community. At Pinnacle Health Care on Main Street (formerly the Greenwood Center) there are nine cases. There are 11 cases associated with Little Lambs Learning Center in Springvale. Little Lambs closed voluntarily in mid-September, and the CDC is working with them as they prepare to reopen.
The City Council’s Public Safety Subcommittee and City Manager met with representatives of the city’s social clubs on Monday, September 28 and came away impressed with plans the clubs have implemented to prevent further spread of Covid-19.
At its regular work session on the 29th, the Subcommittee heard reports on the response to complaints of violations of the mask ordinance. The Health Educators and police officers who respond to complaints have had some positive interactions with businesses resulting in greater compliance with the ordinance. Police Chief Thomas Connolly said one problem area has been Walgreens, where the corporate office has instructed store employees not to insist that customers wear face coverings. He will be speaking with the store manager to clarify that the store could potentially be shut down if more isn’t done to comply with the ordinance.
All three members of the Public Safety Subcommittee – Councilors John Tuttle, Ayn Hanselmann and Joe Hanslip – were in agreement that the mask ordinance should be left in place and reviewed again next week.
The Subcommittee will also be taking another look at the closure of parks and recreational facilities next week, with an eye to formulating a plan to allow some low-risk activities once Covid numbers in the city begin to decline.