January 17, 2021
Dear Students, Staff, and Families,
I am sending out this letter as a way to provide more information as to the state of affairs concerning COVID-19 within our school district. As most of you are aware we experienced the move to remote learning in 2 schools with a 3rd moving to remote as we awaited further information. The following numbers reflect those situations and are current as of 2:00 pm Friday.
(K - 5)
(6 - 8)
(9 - 12)
RSU 38 Staff
Positive cases (includes probable positives)
(5 more affected due to schools going remote)
Awaiting Test Results
These numbers represent a significant increase. Thankfully, for Manchester Elementary and Maranacook Middle schools, their quarantine periods are coming to an end.
Update to the community: Readfield Elementary School does have 1 positive case but we will be asking only that classroom to go remote for all of the coming week. That single classroom will return to school on Monday, January 25. Close contacts are being notified. This means ALL schools will be open to in person instruction on Tuesday, January 19.
I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss COVID 19 testing. The protocols around testing requirements can be confusing. Please refer to the following:
*A PCR molecular test is the gold standard and the method used at “swab and send” test sites. This type of test is best for anyone exposed to Covid 19 regardless of symptoms. It should be performed within 5 to 7 days after last exposure.
*A RAPID antigen test is reliable for symptomatic people and is effective during day 1 to day 7 of experiencing symptoms. This type of test is available at places like Walgreens.
*You can visit Keep Maine Healthy for information on tests and to find sites for each type of test. You can always contact your Primary Care Physician for information as well.
Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 it is required of all students and staff with known Close Contact* exposure to have a negative PCR test, performed 5 to 7 days after exposure in order to be released from quarantine at the end of 10 days (a rapid antigen test will not release the individual to return to school at the 10 day mark). If a PCR test is NOT performed we will be mandating a 14 day quarantine period be completed before returning to school. This requirement exceeds the CDC recommendations but given the rising number of positive cases within our district we must maintain a focus on health and safety in our schools. This requirement is one that is necessary at this time.
Thank you for doing your part to keep our schools open to in person instruction. Our numbers have risen, do not let your guard down. We can be successful in keeping schools open to in person instruction and keep everyone safe with your help by following all protocols. Better days are coming if we all do our part. Thank you. Be safe everyone!
Superintendent of Schools
Here is the contact information for school nurses by building for your reference:
Mount Vernon & Wayne Elementary
Maranacook Middle School
Maranacook Community High School
*Close Contact is defined by the CDC as being within 6 feet of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes. In a school, it is a shared space: classroom, bus, etc for the cumulative 15 minutes regardless of distance maintained.
Close Contact also includes being a member of the same household as a person who has a positive test result.