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Holiday Season & Travel
Holiday Season & Travel
Jon Porter
Monday, November 16, 2020

Dear RSU 50 School Community,

There have been some questions raised from parents and staff regarding the upcoming Thanksgiving break and how we can all help with the safe return of our students and staff to school following the break. The Maine Department of Education has recently shared their recommendations for restrictions and responses to out of state travel as it relates to COVID-19 and schools returning safely from Thanksgiving break.  

As we see the escalating impact  of COVID-19 across our state and the nation, we recognize that friends and families are looking for ways to connect and to maintain normal traditions in an abnormal time. As the holiday season approaches, it is critically important that our school communities continue to do everything we can in order to keep our schools safe, open, and able to provide in-person instruction. This may mean making the safe and difficult choice to limit holiday gathering and travel, as we know that both have additional risks for exposure and transmission of the virus. The United States Center 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 the community health experts, we strongly encourage our staff and students to celebrate each holiday within your current household only, and to limit any large gatherings. 

Any staff or students who travel to any state other than New Hampshire or Vermont (no restrictions for these two states only as of 11/16/20; subject to change), they will be required to either

  1. quarantine for 14 days upon return to Maine, or
  2. quarantine until a receiving a negative test result. The test must be taken either:
  1. in the state you are visiting and no more than 72 hours prior to your return to Maine, or
  2. once you 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 or 14 days has occurred. This is not dependent on the length of time spent within the restricted states, meaning that 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 who travel must test or quarantine if over 12 months old. 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 to consider that can be found, here. Please stay safe, and help us to keep our school community safe and able to provide for the students we serve.

Thank you all for your continued support in these difficult times.  I am wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday season.  

Superintendent Jon Porter