November 18, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families:
The Maine Department of Education has released the following statements regarding out of state travel as it relates to COVID-19 and schools.
Even as we watch the escalating impact of COVID-19 across our state and nation, we recognize that friends and families are looking for ways to maintain normal traditions in an abnormal time. As the holiday season approaches, it is critically important that our school community continue to do everything possible to keep our schools safe and open for in-person instruction. This may mean making the safe but difficult choice to limit holiday gatherings and travel, as we know that both pose additional risks for exposure and transmission of the virus. The United States Centers for Disease Control has issued strong guidance to the American people to limit our interactions and travel this holiday season so that we can all gather safely in the future. Further details of the CDC’s recommendations can be found, here.
Based on the recommendations of community health experts, we strongly encourage our staff and students to celebrate each holiday within their current household only and to avoid large gatherings. Any staff or students who travel to states other than New Hampshire or Vermont (no restrictions for these two states only as of 11/16/20; subject to change), will be required to either:
- Quarantine for 14 days upon return to Maine, or
- Quarantine until receiving a negative test result. The test must be taken either:
- In the state you are visiting and no more than 72 hours prior to your return to Maine, or
- Upon your return to Maine.
Any staff or students who have travelled to restricted states will not be permitted inside the school building until either the negative test result has been confirmed or the 14 day quarantine period has passed.
This is not dependent on the length of time spent within the restricted states, meaning a day visit still requires any person to quarantine for 14 days or until a negative test result is confirmed. All members of the household over the age of 12 months who travel must test or quarantine. Testing site information for Maine can be found, here.
Any person who is quarantining should stay home and not have in-person contact with others unless there is an emergency. A non-traditional Thanksgiving can be hard on all of us, and CDC has some suggestions on healthy alternatives and precautions that can be found, here. Please stay safe and help us keep our school community safe.
Matt Nelson, Superintendent of Schools