Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff, Students, and School Board Members:
On September 10th our district instituted an indoor mask mandate. This mandate was issued with the understanding that if conditions improved the mandate would be lifted and if conditions didn’t improve the mandate would be extended.
At this time, we are extending the indoor mask mandate for another 2 weeks (8 school days) to be revisited again on October 15.
In the last week, our school cases of COVID have gone from 4 to 18 cases. We have quarantined dozens of students and staff members as close contacts. Without masking, several of our schools would be closed due to the different CDC requirements that we have to go by for contact tracing if masks are not worn. Our goal is to keep schools open and provide live in-person instruction for our students for as long as we can. Our seven-day county totals have risen from 31 when the mandate started, to 75 last Thursday, to 179 this Thursday. Washington County now has the second highest case rate in the state.
As of Monday, Maine has had 2080 cases of COVID in schools. This is more cases than the state had for all last year. Our district has also already had more cases within our schools than it had total for last year. Yet none of those cases have spread within the school. All have been linked to community transmission and not transmission within the school. Hopefully we are nearing a peak in the cases in our area and may start seeing a decline sometime soon.
This mask mandate will be monitored, and it will be lifted when the conditions that caused its implementation have subsided. At the end of this time-period you will be notified if the mask mandate will continue or if it will be lifted.
Thank you for your patience, understanding, and cooperation with this difficult situation. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Ronald C. Ramsay
Superintendent of Schools