As you may know, the Maine CDC in cooperation with the Maine Department of Education has updated the COVID Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that schools will be following upon our return to school tomorrow. This includes changes in the identification of close contacts, the amount of time required to quarantine if a person tests positive and the use of home test results. I have included some additional information below that has been sent to all school districts.
Please be assured that our district is closely monitoring all changes to the SOP. I will provide you with any additional information that might become available in the days to come.
CLICK HERE for acomplete copy of the updated Maine CDC/Maine DOE Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which includes additional, specific information.
Maine CDC & DOE Update Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Schools
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) and the Maine Department of Education (DOE) has announced further revisions to the Maine CDC’s public health guidance for responding to a positive case of COVID-19 in schools.
Changes to the School Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are as follows:
- Isolation and quarantine periods for students and staff are shortened consistent with recently updated guidance from the U.S. CDC, and will be reduced.
- The Maine CDC is aligning its definition of what constitutes a COVID-19 outbreak in schools with the State’s longstanding definition of an outbreak of other infectious diseases in schools. Effective immediately, the Maine CDC will open an outbreak investigation if a school reports that more than 15 percent of a school population is absent, which is the standard currently utilized to define an outbreak from other infectious diseases, such as influenza.
- The Maine CDC will no longer consider exposure to COVID-19 in an outdoor setting or on a school bus, where the Federal government requires masks be worn, as a “close contact.”
- The Maine CDC is updating its “test to stay” pooled testing program to enable more students to stay in the classroom. Previously, students and staff participating in pooled testing who were exposed to COVID-19 outside of a school setting were required to quarantine and not attend school. If they were exposed to COVID-19 in a school setting and participating in pooled testing, then they were not required to quarantine from school. Now, regardless of where the exposure occurs, if a student or staff member is participating in pooled testing, then they will not be required to quarantine from school.
We continue to strongly recommend that all families in MSAD 44 consider enrolling their child(ren) in our pooled testing program.