A message from MSAD 35 MAINE May 13, 2022

 

Dear Families,

 First of all, thank you for your support and hard work this year! With all of the end of year activities, field trips, and graduation we’d like to give you a quick update on best practices for navigating the rest of our year safely. This is not all welcome news but it is necessary information. 

Cases are significantly increasing in the US, in Maine, and in York County.

The predominant variant at play is highly transmissible.

Vaccination remains your best bet for not experiencing severe illness with COVID.

Masking indoors is the best measure to mitigate transmission.

Our pooled testing program has been discontinued by the state so we have one less tool available to help us manage COVID in our schools.

Home tests are available for every student and staff member in the district. They come in a 5 count box and can be picked up at your child’s school's front office.

What we are asking:

Please keep your students home if they have symptoms.

If they test negative, they may still be too ill to attend school. Just because it’s not COVID doesn't mean that they’re not sick.

The district is following the mask optional/recommended guidance which means just that. You don’t have to but it is a very good idea to wear a mask in indoor places. The Maine CDC currently recommends that you consider masking indoors.  In general, terms if you remain flexible with masking and keep one handy you can do what we’ve all learned to do…..a sliding, ongoing risk assessment with the opportunity in your pocket to protect yourself.

An update to return to school procedures following a COVID infection was included in Mr. Caverly’s letter last Friday. It states that “students or staff recovering from COVID-19 need to isolate for 5 full days following symptom onset or a positive test. They may return to school on days 6-10 if symptoms are improving and they have had a negative COVID-19 test on or after day 5 of isolation.”

The best practice for quarantining following exposure for vaccinated people is to wear a mask for 10 days while continuing to attend school.

The best practice for quarantining following exposure for unvaccinated people is to quarantine for 5 days from the date of the last contact. If the exposure is happening within the home this quarantine period can add up because it extends for 5 days from the positive person’s end of isolation date.

An alternative approach to a lengthy quarantine would be to test on days 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10. The student would be allowed to attend school wearing a mask as long as they remain negative and asymptomatic.

Please contact your school RN if you have a positive COVID case in your house and they will be able to help you with dates and answer questions that you may have. They will also be able to help out with testing. To report your student’s positive test results please fill out the POSITIVE COVID-19 Reporting Form

While we’re disappointed with the increase of cases we are confident that we’ll be able to minimize transmission in school if we all share in the responsibility; stay home when sick, wear a mask following illness or exposure, consider masking indoors, test frequently and be mindful of local conditions and how to best protect yourselves, your families and others. This will all help the kids enjoy their hard-earned end-of-year celebrations and we can move into the promise of a healthy, very welcome summer!

Sincerely,

The Marshwood District Nurses