February 10, 2021
Dear Staff and Families,
Each year, many families use school vacation weeks for travel, but at this time such travel brings with it additional risks for contracting and transmitting COVID-19, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC). It is critically important that our school communities continue to do everything we can to keep our schools safe, open, and able to provide in-person instruction.
The US CDC has issued strong guidance to the American people to continue to limit our interactions and travel at this time. We encourage our staff and families to know the risks and the requirements for travel, and to communicate with our school leaders when travelling so that our schools can continue to operate safely. Families planning a trip should notify their child’s school nurse prior to travel, using this link.
In accordance with Maine travel guidelines, any staff or students who travel within the US to any state other than New Hampshire or Vermont (no restrictions as of 2/08/21 for these two states only) will be required to either:
- Complete a 10-day quarantine upon arrival in Maine and continue to monitor for signs and symptoms for an additional 4 days OR
- Obtain and receive a negative COVID-19 antigen or molecular (PCR, NAAT, or isothermal) test result within 72 hours prior to arrival back into Maine to forgo the 10-day quarantine.
- Travelers may be tested upon arrival in Maine as well but must quarantine while they wait for test results. A negative COVID-19 antigen or molecular (PCR, NAAT, or isothermal) test result will allow travelers to leave quarantine early.
The CDC has also provided guidance as it relates to international travel. The current risk assessment level for COVID-19 is at 4, or VERY HIGH, for nearly every country. You can review the risk levels by country here.
At this time, all air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight back to the United States. See Frequently Asked Questions about this requirement for more information.
Upon return to the United States, staff and students must quarantine. International travelers can return to school after:
- They are tested 3-5 days after travel, and receive a negative test result AND stay home and self- quarantine for 7 days after travel.
- They choose not to get tested and stay home for 10 days after travel.
- They avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether they are tested or not.
Any staff or students who have travelled internationally will not be permitted inside our school buildings for a minimum of 7 days, even if a negative test has occurred.
Returning to work or school after travel is not dependent on the length of time spent within the restricted states or other countries, meaning that a day visit still requires any person to quarantine and/or test as described above. All members of the household who travel must test or quarantine if over 12 months old. Testing site information for Maine is available here.
Any person who is quarantining should stay home, and not have in-person contact with others unless there is an emergency.
Please continue to follow best practice safety protocols: wear a mask, keep physical distance, wash your hands and monitor for symptoms, and help protect our schools and neighbors.
Matt Nelson, Superintendent of Schools