To: MSAD 15 Students, Families, Staff, and Community
From: Craig King, Superintendent
Date: January 25, 2021
Re: COVID-19 Cases
This memo is to update you on new COVID-19 cases and cumulative case counts.
New COVID-19 Case Requiring Contact Tracing and Quarantine:
— An individual connected to the red and blue cohorts at Gray-New Gloucester High School has tested positive for COVID-19. School officials have been in contact with Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s representative at the Maine Department of Education. It has been determined there was a potential exposure requiring quarantine on January 21, 2021. Four students and two staff members will be impacted by this quarantine. School nurses and administrators have contacted those students and staff with further details. Those calls are already complete. If you have not received a phone call or phone message, then you/your student are not impacted by this exposure and quarantine.
New COVID-19 Case Without School Exposure:
— An individual connected to MSAD 15 has tested positive for COVID-19. The case has been reported and confirmed by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maine Department of Education. This individual was not physically present in school during the infectious time period. The last time this individual was on school grounds was January 5, 2021. As such, there are no reportable close contacts with this individual in our schools.
MSAD 15 Cumulative Case Counts:
— The Maine Department of Education and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention report cumulative positive cases for schools on their COVID-19 webpage. In the interest of balancing privacy for COVID-19 positive students and staff with transparency for families, staff, and community – up until now we have opted to use the state website and these reporting memos to provide information. We have decided to shift that position and begin to provide cumulative case counts by school directly. We have made this decision because:
- There appears to be significant time lags between test results and state website reporting.
- There appears to be inconsistency with what cases are included in the state website counts.
- There are enough cases and enough time has cumulated at this point to maintain a reasonable level of privacy for positive COVID-19 cases.
- The state website does not differentiate between cases in students from those in staff.
You will find a document linked below detailing confirmed COVID-19 cases associated with MSAD 15 delineated by location and divided into staff and student groups. Important information about this data includes:
- This document includes confirmed COVID-19 cases. A confirmed case is one in which the district has received a copy of the positive test and/or documentation from a medical care provider with a COVID-19 diagnosis.
- The case counts include all cases whether or not there was school-based exposure requiring contact tracing and quarantine.
- These counts include students and staff that are fully remote as well as those that are in- person.
- This document includes cases only from the current school year. Cases prior to September 1, 2021 are not included in this data.
- This document is up to date as of the sending of this memo and will be updated at least weekly. The last date and time the document has been updated will always appear at the top of the page.
Please keep in mind, confirmed COVID-19 cases are not the only reason staff or students are absent and are not the only reason classes, teams, schools, or the district has to go remote. Other than the remote learning day due to weather, all cases where remote learning was implemented this year were because of a staffing and substitute shortage. Staff may be absent due to non-COVID related illness, family illness, quarantine due to a personal exposure, quarantine due to a school-based exposure, quarantine due to necessary out-of-state travel, or other non-COVID related reasons. In these cases where staff absences reach a critical limit, we have to make the decision to go remote until staff can return.
We will continue to provide you with ongoing updates and information as it becomes available. Please continue to wear masks, observe physical distancing, and wash hands frequently so that we can ensure our best chance of preserving in-person instruction.