Dear Staff, Students, and Families, This letter is to inform you that there is an outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at Houlton Middle High School. An outbreak means that there are three or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a 14-day period that are epidemiologically linked. Please monitor yourself/your student for signs and symptoms. Call a health care provider if symptoms start. It is important that you call a health care 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 • headache • new loss of taste or smell • sore throat • congestion or runny nose • nausea or vomiting • diarrhea • confusion • pressure or pain in the chest • blue/gray-tinged skin/lips/nail beds • inability to wake or stay awake 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 DOE 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 10-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. Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others. Wear a cloth face covering in public indoor spaces, especially if you are not vaccinated. Cloth face coverings are recommended in schools and childcare settings for people over 5 years of age. Get a COVID vaccine when it is available to you. When in public, avoid social distances of less than 6 feet and direct physical contact. Questions for the school can be directed at (Name of school representative) by calling (contact number). 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.
2 months ago, Susie Crovo