Tuesday, September 15, 2020

COVID--19 Resources and Guidelines

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I am SO glad to be back at school, seeing all those smiling eyes above colorful masks.  COVID has certainly changed how we do things, but at our core, we still TEACH students! Students must be healthy to be educated and educated to be healthy.


"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world."  -Nelson Mandela

Prior to sending students to school please complete the following checklist:  Checklist Cartoon , Free Transparent Clipart - ClipartKey

Maine DOE prescreening checklist

If students have ONE of the more common symptoms or TWO of the less common symptoms, they should stay home and be evaluated by their PCP.  Please contact your school nurse for next steps.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include: Pin on Art

More common symptoms include: Cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever of 100.4 or higher, chills, sore throat, or new loss or taste or smell

Less common symptoms include: Muscle or joint pain, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, fatigue, headache, rash, swelling of hands or feet, red eyes or eye drainage, congestion or a runny nose

What do I do if my student is sick?

Confirmed COVID-19

Students with a COVID-19 diagnosis. 

  • Stay home at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared AND until no fever for at least 24 hours without medication AND improvement of other symptoms. 

  • Siblings and household members also stay home for 14 days.

Non-COVID-19 Illness

Students with other diagnoses (e.g., Norovirus, strep throat) that explains symptoms, or when 

a health care provider says symptoms are connected to a pre-existing condition.

  • Stay home until symptoms have improved AND until no fever for at least 24 hours without medication. Follow specific return guidance from the health care provider. 

  • Siblings and household members do not need to stay home.

Suspected COVID-19 

Students with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 without a medical evaluation (e.g., monitoring symptoms at home). 

  • Stay home at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared AND until no fever for  

at least 24 hours without medication AND improvement of other symptoms. 

  • Siblings and household members do not need to stay home unless they have a positive test.

Doctors Note Cartoons and Comics - funny pictures from CartoonStock

For the safety of all students and staff after experiencing symptoms that exclude a child from school, please provide a return to school note or negative test result to the school from your students doctor. 

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Traveling outside of Maine right now is discouraged due to risk of COVID-19. Traveling to destinations not included on the exemption list require a 14 day quarantine or a negative PCR test when returning to Maine,  If traveling cannot be avoided please see the Maine CDC travel page  or the FAQ Keep Maine Healthy webpage for more information.  At the time this page was authored, exempt destinations for travel  include Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey, and New York. For additional information on travel and testing regarding travel please see Maine CDC COVID -19 FAQ page, which is updated regularly and was updated last on 9/11/2020.  

What's It Like Getting Tested for COVID-19? - City of San Antonio

Testing: Obtaining a test can be difficult and not all tests are created equal.  The PCR test is the gold standard for COVID-19 testing.  HERE is a list of local testing sites with requirements for testing and how to make appointments (if needed) There are 30 testing sites within 40 miles of Yarmouth.  :-)

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Quarantine vs Isolation Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease such as COVID-19 from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. At any point during this pandemic you or your family may need to isolate or quarantine.  It is a very good idea to have enough medication and food on hand to last at least two weeks.

One of my children is sick, and another one is healthy, can I send the healthy one to school? YES! Unless your sick family member tests positive for COVID-19 and it is recommended by the CDC that they quarantine for 14 days, a healthy student can attend school.  

For any questions, please contact the school nurse at alison_thomson@yarmouthschools.org or 846-3391 or visit the Maine CDC COVID website

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Stop the Spread of Infection


While the Nation and the World are fighting a novel virus that seems to be spreading, I'd like to take the opportunity to remind parents to get back to basics when it comes to staying healthy.  Information about health and epidemiology should come from a trusted source, such at the Maine CDC which can be accessed  HERE, and the national CDC webpage can be accessed HERE.  Both have up to date information on the novel coronavirus and excellent information on how to stay healthy.

Here is a very basic sheet with symptoms and transmission for COVID 19: Maine CDC COVID fact sheet

Practice Basic Steps to Avoid all Illness
Step one, Wash your hands.

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

Avoid close contact            Top School Clip Art Free Clipart Image 2 Clipartix_clipartix

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if you know illness is spreading in the community, especially if people are showing signs of illness.

Stay home if you’re sick

  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Call your doctor, or your child's doctor for instructions on how to obtain medical care while reducing transmission of illness.  
  • Stay home until fever free for 24 hours without using fever reducing medications like Tylenol (Acetaminophen) or Motrin (ibuprofen), or until you have clearance from your doctor to return to school.
  • The Yarmouth School District guidelines for keeping students home when ill can be accessed on the School Health Webpage

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean and disinfect             

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • Access the CDC's cleaning recommendations HERE

Practice Other Healthy Habits 
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Exercise
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Manage stress for a healthy immune system