Letter to the Community Regarding COVID-19

Dear Staff, Parents, and Community Members:

The intent of this letter is to keep you informed, as we partner together to work to resume in person-education. As of this afternoon (1/9/2021) there have been 14 individuals (staff/students) who have tested positive for COVID-19.  Of those 14, 4 are currently positive and 10 have recovered. These 4 active cases have occurred over the last ten days. We have taken steps with our response team to follow Maine Centers for Disease Control and Department of Education guidelines and have notified anyone who is considered a close contact. Any student or staff member who had direct exposure to the individual(s) will be required to quarantine and have been informed by Aaron Knowles, RN on when their quarantine is over. The Maine CDC quarantine guidance is for individuals to quarantine for 10 days for exposure to a known positive case without symptoms. Individuals will quarantine for 14 days with a positive test or exposure to a positive case with symptoms. Individuals must be fever free without a fever reducer for 48 hours to end quarantine.

We wish to remind all students and families that our hygiene, face covering, and social distancing policies are critical to our ability to deliver in person education. Individuals not following these guidelines will be asked to stay home and participate in remote education for 10 days. For the safety and health of our community we ask families that if they know or suspect that their child is a close contact or has been in contact with a close contact that they choose to stay remote for the next ten days. Please contact the school and let us know to expect your child will be remote.

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 health 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 / chills
· new loss of taste / smell
· cough
· congestion / runny nose
· shortness of breath / difficulty breathing
· nausea / vomiting
· fatigue
· diarrhea
· muscle / body aches
· sore throat
· headache
Please keep in mind that many things can cause respiratory illness, so students should be up-to-date on influenza and routine vaccinations.

Maine CDC recommends prevention measures to help control the spread of COVID-19. These measures include: 
· Proper handwashing with soap and warm water, which is especially important after using the bathroom, before / after eating, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 
· When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% 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 surfaces and objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
General questions regarding COVID-19 can be answered by calling 1-866-811-5695, you can text your zip code to 898-211, or email at info@211maine.org or by calling your primary care provider. More information can be found at www.maine.gov/dhhs/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Questions for the schools COVID-19 policies and procedures can be directed to Aaron Knowles, RN by calling  207-794-5707  or by emailing:  aknowles@leeacademy.us. All other questions may be directed to the main office at 207-738-2252.

Luke Shorty