Dear Staff, Students, and Families,
I am writing to inform you of a change in the Maine CDC’s Standard Operating Procedure. As outlined in today’s Maine Department of Education Media Release in this link Maine CDC and Maine Department of Education Revise COVID-19 Guidance for Schools to Support In-Person Learning During Omicron Surge, schools will no longer be required to conduct contact tracing.
The Maine CDC has determined that, because the Omicron variant is far more contagious than prior variants, has a shorter incubation period, and tends to spread in the early part of an infection, it is contributing to higher levels of community transmission, making community exposures more frequent and, consequently, reducing the effectiveness of contact tracing in schools.
The Maine CDC also recently reduced quarantining and isolation periods and limited these measures to COVID-infected individuals. These are welcomed revisions that, in continuing to support health and safety, minimize school disruptions, allow school nurses more time to focus on symptomatic individuals, and staff more time to focus on educating our students.
Though individuals will no longer be notified of exposure to a positive case, please continue to monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, call a health care provider if symptoms start, and please stay home if you are sick.
Stay safe and be well.
Superintendent of Schools