Good afternoon, 

This is to inform our community that another case of COVID-19 was confirmed over the weekend at HHS causing 14 additional quarantines.  

Furthermore, I received a call from the Maine CDC to inform us that HHS is considered to be in outbreak status due to the number of cases over recent time, 10 cases in 15 days.   Each case is considered to be through community transmission. 

As an outbreak area, the CDC will closely monitor community trends and strongly suggests that the community work diligently towards taking all recommended precautions.   They also remind us that quarantined students are not allowed to "test out" of quarantine.   (Below is part of their letter to us with some informative links). 

Typically, an outbreak status ends 28-days after the last positive test or symptom onset date, whichever is later. Please remember, outbreak status and school’s being open/closed are two separate things that do not depend on each other.     For a case to qualify for an outbreak, extending it another 28-days, the case must have attended in-person learning or an in-person school-sponsored activity within 14-days prior to their symptom onset/ test collection date. If the student hadn’t been in school for the 14-days prior to their symptom onset/ test collection date, then they aren’t associated with the outbreak. No matter what, always report positive cases to DOE – this never changes.         

Additionally, I wanted to send some information to help assist with isolation of positive cases and quarantine of close contacts. Maine CDC developed a comprehensive frequently asked questions document that may be useful to you. This document covers everything from immunity, what other household members need to do, testing, release from quarantine/isolation, and everything in between.      

In addition to this resource, here are other helpful resources:   o    What is Isolation   o   What is Quarantine   o   Ending Isolation and Ending Quarantine   o   Maine DOE School Toolkit   o   CDC - Operating Schools during COVID-19   o   CDC Toolkit for School Administrators   o   Assessing Students - Symptomatic w/ No Known Exposure   o   Maine Sports Risk Assessment Guidance   o   Cleaning & Disinfecting the School        

As a reminder, individuals that test positive can be released from isolation when they have met these three criteria:   ·       At least 10 days have passed since symptoms started AND   ·        At least 24 hours with no fever (without fever-reducing medication) AND   ·        Improvement in symptoms   Individuals that are asymptomatic can leave isolation 10 days after they were swabbed as long as they continue to not have symptoms.     

If you, students, or school staff are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please seek emergency medical care:    ·        Trouble breathing   ·        Persistent pain or pressure in the chest   ·        New confusion   ·        Inability to wake or stay awake   ·        Bluish lips or face     

Finally, it is very important that you and your community comply with COVID recommendations to help decrease the spread of COVID-19. Now that this school is considered an outbreak, it is a great opportunity for the school to relay to their community the importance of compliance to COVID recommendations and layering healthy habits.

If you have questions please contact your school nurse or principal.  

Have a nice evening.  

Jim Chasse