If you/your student have been in close contact with someone with confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), this means that you/your student will need to quarantine. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected (positive) person (with or without a face mask) for at least 15 minutes (all in one encounter, or cumulative over a 24-hour period), or having unprotected, direct contact with secretions or excretions of a person with confirmed COVID-19 during the infectious period. Being in quarantine means:
● Staying home until 14 full days after the last contact with COVID case)
● Checking your temperature twice a day and watching for symptoms of COVID-19:
• fever or chills
• shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• muscle or body aches
• new loss of taste or smell
• sore throat
• congestion or runny nose
• nausea or vomiting
● If possible, staying away from people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19
● You cannot have visitors or go out into the public
● You can leave quarantine for necessary and emergency medical care (Please alert ER or ambulance crew of being a close contact, so that they can prepare with proper PPE.)
If the school is not already aware of your student being a close contact, please inform the school, so that we can guide you through the process of quarantining and assessment. While a negative test result will not remove the requirement for you/your student to quarantine, we recommend you reach out to your primary care physician to discuss being tested. Being tested is strongly recommended due to the fact that a known positive allows those in close contact to quarantine and further reduce the spread of infection.
Once the school nurse has reviewed the positive case and plans with the Maine CDC, you may be notified that you are in fact not a close contact but you must go into quarantine now until you hear otherwise. The Maine CDC phone number may show up as unknown when they call you for contact tracing. Please keep this in mind as you decide whether or not to answer your phone (as many of us generally do not answer unknown callers). It’s very important that they be able to reach and assist you, throughout this process.
Please send results of all COVID-19 tests to your school building, so that we may assist in any further management and contact tracing efforts, to keep all of our staff and students as safe and healthy as possible. Your health information remains highly confidential, as always!
We will be sending additional information with discretion (while maintaining privacy for all), and will be posting documents on the union103.org website reiterating this information in an easy-to-follow format. Please remember that many logistics need to be considered as we navigate this process. Instant communication may not always be feasible, but as we are all committed to safety, things will be done as quickly as possible.
Please take care of yourselves, be kind and know that we are here to help!
Holly Swilo, RN School Nurse