District Outbreak Letter

November 10, 2020
Dear MSAD 17 Staff, Students, and Families, 
This letter is to inform you that there is an outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School and the Guy E. Rowe School.  An outbreak means that there are three or more cases of COVID-19 within a 14-day period from different households. Based on recommendations from the Maine CDC, we are closing both schools for cleaning to help prevent further spread of COVID-19. In-person schooling will resume on Monday, November 30th. 
The Rowe School moved to remote instruction November 9 and OHCHS will move to remote learning on Thursday, November 12.  Individual notifications have been sent to the families of affected students through their school’s office.   
Please monitor yourself/your student for signs and symptoms. Call a health care provider if symptoms start. It is important that you call a healthcare facility before you show up in person. 
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that ranges from mild to severe. It can be more 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 or chills
• cough
• shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
• fatigue 
• muscle or body aches        • diarrhea                       
• headache 
• new loss of taste or smell 
• sore throat 
• congestion or runny nose 
• nausea or vomiting
Please keep in mind that many things can cause respiratory illness, so students and staff should be up-to-date on influenza and routine vaccinations. 
Maine CDC or a school representative will contact you directly if you are identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive. Close contacts will be asked to quarantine for 14 days from last exposure to the positive individual. A negative test result does not get an individual out of quarantine. 
Maine CDC recommends prevention measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These measures include proper handwashing 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 with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Cover your cough or 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. 
Questions for the school can be directed to Beth Gallagher by calling 743-8914 x 1506. For general COVID-19 questions, dial 211 (or 1-866-811-5695). You can also text your ZIP code to 898-211 or email info@211maine.org. Call a health care provider for questions about your symptoms. More information can be found at www.maine.gov/dhhs/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

Richard Colpitts