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Mask requirements return to public schools in Portland, Maine

Public schools in Portland, Maine, are once again requiring students, staff, and visitors to wear face masks indoors and on school buses because of a local surge in COVID-19 cases.

Superintendent Xavier Botana informed families on Tuesday that an indoor mask mandate would go back into effect on Thursday, May 12, WGME-TV reported. “This step has become necessary to help keep everyone safe as positive cases of COVID-19 are rapidly increasing in our community and schools,” Botana wrote in a letter.

Portland schools had lifted mask requirements in March when it appeared the COVID-19 pandemic was slowing down after two years. But according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine currently has the highest rate of new COVID-19 infections in the U.S.

Cumberland County, where Portland Public Schools are located, was categorized as an area of “high” viral

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