DISTRICT UPDATE

January 7, 2022

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Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff,


As we begin a new year, we returned with updated guidance to the Maine DOE Standard Operating Procedures which will allow for reduced quarantine based on vaccination status and symptom onset. During school vacation, we appreciated the transparency and reporting of positive cases and close contacts to assist our nurses in following up with families which allowed for a safer return to school. We continue to ask families to please be vigilant in monitoring any symptoms of COVID (linked here) and if your child is not feeling well, they should stay home until COVID can be ruled out.


In addition to the email sent home on December 31st, additional clarifications are below after Superintendents across Maine had the opportunity to ask questions about the updated guidance with Maine CDC Director Dr. Shah and Maine DOE Commissioner Pender Makin. We are expecting another update to come in the near future based on feedback from Superintendents. Please take a moment to read the highlights below from the full SOP so you remain informed of how our district will proceed, including the flow chart to easily digest our district’s process for those who may test COVID positive or are identified as a close contact.


POSITIVE COVID RESULT

  • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 may return to school after five (5) days of isolation if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication and their symptoms are improving. They must wear a mask at all times for an additional five (5) days. Review US CDC criteria for U.S. CDC criteria for release from isolation.

    • Isolation Starts: The day of symptom onset (Day 0) or test date.

    • For Asymptomatic Individuals: If symptoms develop at any time during the 10 days following the test date, the 5-day isolation period starts over.

  • We will now accept at-home positive test results for isolation purposes as the Maine DOE has left it up to each school district with the volume of families now testing at home. However, please keep in mind that the Maine CDC does not recognize the validity of at-home testing (due to varied storage, environment, processing, etc.), so the positive result will not be recorded in their system. We will continue to alert any close contacts identified from an at-home positive case reported to our School Nurses but a community notification letter will not be sent to all.

  • Outbreak status has been updated to the current infectious disease threshold of 15% absenteeism rate due to illness of the total school’s population versus three cases epidemiologically linked.


IDENTIFIED AS A CLOSE CONTACT

  • Thanks to our consistent universal masking policy, students and staff are eligible to attend school even if exposure took place within the community.

  • The only quarantine required (shortened duration of five days) is relevant to outside of school for those who are not fully vaccinated (referred to as community quarantine).

  • Children on the bus and outside sports are no longer considered close contacts if exposed. This does not apply to transport within school vans.

  • Symptom-free close contacts should test on day five (5) following exposure.

  • Symptomatic close contacts should remain home and be tested as soon as possible.

  • Students and staff who are exposed must wear a mask outside of school when around others for 10 days.


Due to the high volume of COVID-19 cases in York County, any close contacts will now be notified via email. We will continue to make personal phone calls if your child tests positive due to pooled testing. We ask all families to pay close attention to their emails for the possibility of notifications related to their child(ren) and follow the instructions within the email for modified quarantine, symptom monitoring, and testing. If you are not receiving emails from the school, please update your information in Infinite Campus or contact the school directly.


CLOSE CONTACTS OF POSITIVE HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS

One major component we feel is missing and have expressed to Dr. Shaw and Commissioner Makin is the removal of all quarantine, inclusive of symptom-free close contacts who have repeated exposure to positive household members. They feel the conditions at school (i.e. preventative measures in place such as pooled testing, universal masking, physical distancing, etc.) safeguard children from home exposure and as long as they remain symptom-free, they should remain in school learning. Therefore, we will require ALL close contacts to remain masked while around others for 10 days.


Please note: Any symptom-free close contact of a positive household member will need to:

  • Regardless of vaccination status, mask at all times for 10-days following the last day of their household member’s isolation and symptoms resolving; and,

  • For those unvaccinated or not within their 90-day natural immunity window: add an additional five (5) days of community quarantine (outside of school) on to the last day of their household member’s isolation and symptoms resolving.


If a household member tests positive and parents choose to keep their child home during the five-day community quarantine timeframe, remote assignments will be made available through the Seesaw and/or Google Classroom platforms. Please follow up directly with teachers after you speak to the School Nurse.


In closing, we are working with the YCEMA regarding the possibility of offering booster clinics at our facilities to assist parents in accessing an appointment at a convenient time/location. More information will be forthcoming but in the meantime, if your child is eligible for a booster, please reach out to their healthcare provider or local pharmacy for an appointment.


Stay Well,

Jeremy Ray

Superintendent of Schools

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Click Here to Submit Your Child's COVID Vaccine Info

If your child has been fully vaccinated, please complete this form to assist our School Nurses.

TRANSPORTATION

As some other Maine schools are currently experiencing transportation challenges due to driver shortages, including Dayton Consolidated School, we want to remind families of our contingency plan with multiple bus runs, staggered times for late arrival/early release, and to be planful. Please review the below letter sent home last month for more details.


We remain hopeful that we can recruit bus drivers but it remains a serious concern throughout all school districts. If you know anyone who would like to become a bus driver, please ask them to contact our Human Resources department or apply online (see link below). Our district will cover the cost of the training and testing needed for the required CDL license.

Transportation Letter - Be Prepared

The following plans are in place should an illness, quarantine, or vacancy occur. Please review!

STORM / INCLEMENT WEATHER INFORMATION

How will parents be notified of school cancellation, delays, or early release during a storm? Click above for everything you need to know.

HEALTHY UPDATES FROM "LET'S GO 5210"

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IF YOU'D LIKE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, JOIN OUR TEAM!

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