MARION — In the second time in as many days, school officials in Marion have reported a positive case of COVID-19 at the Sippican School.

The two cases are believed to be unrelated.

Superintendent Michael S. Nelson, Marion Town Administrator James McGrail and Marion Board of Health Chair Edward Hoffer put out a joint release today stating that the Old Rochester Regional School District and MA Superintendency Union #55 were informed today of a second positive case of COVID-19 at the Sippican School in Marion.

According to the release, “an individual at the Sippican School has tested positive for the virus and is self-isolating in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol. The individual has not been in school since Oct. 8 and was tested the following day. The individual's test results came back today and the school district was immediately notified. Under state and federal health privacy laws, no further information is available about the individual.”

The Marion Board of Health is conducting contract tracing, but the release said that the individual “did not have any close contacts that directly impact the school district.”

All ORR schools will continue with their normal schedules on Wednesday, Oct. 14, including the Sippican School, at the recommendation of the Marion Board of Health.

"At this time we believe that this second individual had no contact with the previously detected case, and there appears to be no connection or reason to believe they are connected," Hoffer said. "Mass DPH/DESE guidelines state that if at least a 6-foot distance has been maintained at all times, then there has been no 'close contact,' and this was true for the second person identified. At this point, we see no reason to change the hybrid model being used at Sippican School, but will obviously be closely monitoring the situation."

The school district conducted a deep and thorough sanitization and disinfection of the Sippican School yesterday and said all ORR schools will continue to be cleaned every day after school.

"The models we've been seeing from state and local health officials indicate that there could be an uptick in COVID-19 cases during the fall and winter months and we will continue to monitor the situation closely," Superintendent Nelson said. "It is our understanding that the two positive cases within the district are unrelated and both individuals have not been at the school while they've been displaying symptoms. Barring any further developments, at this time the Board of Health is not recommending that we make any changes to our current hybrid learning model and we will be following their recommendation."

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