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RSU 50 Covid-19 Update-Nov. 20, 2020
RSU 50 Covid-19 Update-Nov. 20, 2020
Jon Porter
Friday, November 20, 2020

RSU 50 School Community

RSU 50 values the health and well-being of our students, staff, and families.  Our team of professionals will work throughout the school year to promote a healthy school.  Safety is our number one priority today and everyday.

Rumors are swirling in the school, the community, and the region around Covid-19 cases. I understand there is a high level of anxiety and concern.  I am hoping our transparency will help with this.  

To date, we have not had a confirmed case of Covid-19 of any RSU 50 student or staff member . Also, no RSU 50 student or staff member has been identified as a close contact for Covid-19.  As defined by the CDC, a close contact is any individual within six feet of an infected person for a total of fifteen minutes or more.  Out of abundance of caution, there have been students and/or staff tested and home quarantined for Covid-19 this fall because of similar symptoms, Governor's orders for out-of-state travel, or a potential casual contact, but to date, no positive Covid-19 cases have been reported.

Thank you to the parents/guardians for communicating with us about your child and also keeping your child home when they have experienced any Covid-19 symptoms or are sick.  With fall allergies and cold and flu season upon us, students can exhibit many of the same symptoms of Covid-19.  This does not mean they have Covid-19, but again we will continue to be cautious.  If you have health related questions pertaining to your child, please contact RSU 50 School Nurse, Kathy Chamberland.   

Starting Monday we will be following the new recommendations by the Maine CDC in regards to increasing structure around mask breaks.  The new guidelines are as follows:

In addition to the time during which students may be eating or drinking with a minimum of 6’ physical distancing, school staff should offer only highly structured and well supervised mask breaks during the school day. Such mask breaks should be limited to 5 minutes each, up to a maximum of 15 minutes per day. Breaks should take place in a classroom cohort when possible.  

During mask breaks, individuals:

  • Must be stationary, ideally seated – or standing still if outdoors. Mask breaks should no longer take place during free-play/recess. 

  • Must be at least 6 feet from one another 

  • Should be facing the same direction 

  • Should not engage in conversation or other activity that could spread the virus (silent reading or a writing prompt or other individual activity is ideal). 

Covid-19 is a respiratory illness that ranges from mild to severe in adults 60 years and older and in those with underlying 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, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Maine CDC recommends prevention measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.  These measures include proper hand washing with soap and warm water, which is especially important after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.  When soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth and unwashed hands and avoid close contact with people who are sick.  Cover your cough and sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.  Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

I want to thank the students, parents and staff for their continued diligence of following the six requirements for Maine schools during the pandemic.  The requirements are: (1)Symptom Screening at Home Before Coming to School (for all Staff and Students), (2)Physical Distancing and Facilities, (3)Masks/Face Coverings, (4)Hand Hygiene, (5)Personal Protective Equipment , and (6)Return to School after Illness.  Our students and staff are thankful to be in school for instruction.  

If there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the building we will notify students, parent, and staff immediately.  We will continue to follow all of the protocols and guidelines set forth by the Maine CDC and Maine Department of Education.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact the school.  Thank you.

Jon Porter, Superintendent of School

RSU 50