COVID-19 Update

October 23, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff,

The Maine Center for Disease Control confirmed that a student at Clinton Elementary School has tested positive for Covid-19. Over the course of the day today, School Nurse Natasha Barton, Principal Cathy Gordon and I have been in communication with Maine DOE School Nurse Consultant Emily Poland, identifying close contacts and beginning the preliminary work of notification to those involved. Guided by Maine CDC Division of Disease Surveillance Standard Operating Procedure, we are taking the necessary steps required for the health and safety of our students and staff, including initiating a fourteen-day quarantine for individuals identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive. In addition to MSAD 49 district staff notifying involved individuals, Maine CDC also has direct communication with close contacts, notifying those individuals of their status (a negative test result does not exempt a person from completing the full quarantine period). 

I have spoken directly with Maine CDC and reviewed our action steps to ensure an appropriately cautious and sufficient response. At this time, Maine CDC has not recommended we close school. Should there be any additional actions recommended by the Maine CDC, I will update you as any new information becomes available. If you have any questions, I encourage you to reach out to your child’s building administrator.

As a reminder, please take a moment to review the following information about COVID-19 and what we can do to prevent the spread of the illness—

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that ranges from mild to severe. It can be more severe in adults 60 years and older and in those with underlying conditions. The virus mainly spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes and an uninfected person breathes in the virus. Signs and symptoms include: 

 

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fatigue
  • muscle or body aches
  • headache
  • new loss of taste or smell
  • sore throat
  • congestion or runny nose
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea 

 

Please keep in mind that many things can cause respiratory illness, so students and staff should be up-to-date on influenza and routine vaccinations.

Maine CDC recommends prevention measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These measures include proper handwashing with soap and warm water, which is especially important after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. When soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 

 For general COVID-19 questions, dial 211 (or 1-866-811-5695). You can also text your ZIP code to 898-211 or email info@211maine.org. Call a health care provider for questions about your symptoms. More information can be found at www.maine.gov/dhhs/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

Thankfully, the Maine DOE Framework requirements we have in place have limited the scope of contact in this particular instance.  Please be reminded that we are doing all that we can to ensure health and safety in our schools.  I am grateful for your cooperation, understanding and truly good work in this hybrid education environment. 

Stay safe and be well.

Roberta Hersom

Superintendent of Schools