Health and Safety Guidance for PreK-12 Schools in Maine
Dear Champions of Education, This is being sent to superintendents today, and will be sent more broadly tomorrow, Thursday, July 15 at 9:00 am. As noted this spring and again with the end of the state of civil emergency in Maine, our state will continue to adhere to the US CDC’s “Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools.” This guidance was recently updated on July 9, 2021, and replaces the Maine guidance document that was used during the 2020-2021 school year. You will note that the updated federal guidance aligns closely with the health and safety requirements and recommendations that were previously provided to Maine schools, and which kept schools safe and open for the 2020-2021 school year. As you operate your summer programming and prepare for welcoming back all students in the 2021-2022 school year, we would like to highlight some of the recommendations, requirements, and resources.
- Per the US CDC order related to transportation, all people on public or private school-provided transport, including buses and vans, are required to wear a mask.
- Pooled testing continues to be a vital resource for early detection and the reduction in the number of people who may be exposed to, or who need to quarantine as a close contact due to COVID-19, and is very strongly encouraged to limit education, employment, and extra-curricular disruptions. It is free to schools, and support can be provided. Further information and the application for using pooled testing can be found, here, under the "testing" tab.
- The Maine CDC’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for responding to COVID-19 cases in schools will continue to be required for schools to follow. As updates are made, we will notify the community at large and the updated document will be available on the same website, found here.
- Vaccines help to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and reduces the number of people who will need to quarantine should there be a positive case in school. Providing information, clinics, and resources to ensure that eligible staff and students receive a vaccine is strongly encouraged. You can request a vaccine clinic or find resources, here.
- Per the updated US CDC’s guidance, masks, and distancing when possible, are still strongly recommended when inside for those who are unvaccinated, including staff and students.
- The COVID-19 Hotline specifically provided for school-related questions is still available Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm at 624-6717.
- COVID-19 cases that occur with summer school staff or students should continue to be reported and confirmed through the online COVID-19 reporting form that was used during the school year and was provided to school nurses and administrators.
We hope that you are taking time to care for yourself and to enjoy the Maine summer. Please reach out if we can be of assistance.