Important Information: Sanford High School and Sanford Regional Technical Center Moving to All Remote Learning Effective Immediately.
September 18, 2020
Dear Faculty, Staff, Students and Families,
This letter is to inform you that an individual associated with Sanford High School recently tested positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). There is a possibility that other staff or students came in contact with this individual and therefore may have been exposed to the virus. We are informing you out of an abundance of caution. I am also concerned about an increased level of risk in Sanford, especially at the high school with possible transmission through social activity of students who tested positive but never entered our school facilities due to our delayed start. I am currently monitoring the situation and potential spread. I have been in close contact with the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Center for Disease Control regarding incidents in our school department as well as potential community spread in Sanford. I have made the decision to have all Sanford High School and Sanford Regional Technical Center students move from our “yellow” hybrid model to “red” full distance learning immediately, effective Monday, September 21st. Sanford Middle School students in grades 5-8 will continue in “red” full distance learning with a possible return to in-person learning on Monday, September 28th. Our elementary students in grades K-4 will continue with a “yellow” hybrid model with students attending two days a week in A/B groups. Pre-K will continue to operate as normal.
Please understand this is a fluid situation. We will continue to assess and adjust accordingly. My goal remains to return to in-person instruction safely. In the meantime, please monitor yourself for signs and symptoms. Call a health care provider if symptoms start. It is important that everyone accurately complete the symptom check each day before coming to school. Fast and accurate reporting is important. It is important to stay home if you are sick.
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
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
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 or a school representative will contact you directly if you are identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive. Close contacts will be asked to quarantine for 14 days from last exposure to the positive individual. A negative test result does not get an individual out of quarantine.
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.
Questions for the school can be directed to your building administrator. For general COVID-19 questions, dial 211 (or 1-866-811-5695). You can also text your ZIP code to 898-211 or email firstname.lastname@example.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.
Matt Nelson - Superintendent