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Travel Guidance

 

Dear South Portland Families,

As we see the escalating impact  of COVID-19 across our state and the nation, we recognize that friends and families are looking for ways to connect and to maintain normal traditions in an abnormal time. As the holiday season approaches, it is critically important that our school communities continue to do everything we can in order to keep our schools safe, open, and able to provide in-person instruction.

This may mean making the safe and difficult choice to limit holiday gathering and travel, as we know that both have additional risks for exposure and transmission of the virus. The United States Center for Disease Control has issued strong guidance to the American people to limit our interactions and travel this holiday season, so that we can all gather safely in the future. Further details of the CDC’s recommendations can be found here

Based on the recommendations of the community health experts, we strongly encourage our families to celebrate each holiday within your current household only, and to limit any large gatherings.

A non-traditional Thanksgiving can be hard on all of us, and CDC has some suggestions on healthy alternatives and precautions to consider that can be found here. Please stay safe, and help us to keep our school community safe and able to provide for the students we serve.

If you experience COVID-like symptoms over the Thanksgiving Break or if you have a known exposure to a person who has tested positive for COVID, please email your school nurse over the course of the break.  While the nurse will not get back to you during the break, this will be a great help as we prepare for our return after the break.

South Portland School Nurses

School

Nurse

Email

Brown

Jen Hayward RN

haywarje@spsdme.org 

Dyer

Sue Heeschen BSN RN NCSN

heeschsu@spsdme.org 

Kaler

Melissa Martinez, BSN RN

martinme@spsdme.org 

Small

Chad Morin, BSN RN

morincha@spsdme.org 

Skillin

Kristie Scribner, BSN RN

scribnkr@spsdme.org 

Mahoney

Annie Dugas, BSN RN

dugasan@spsdme.org 

Memorial

Jocelyn Kelly

kellyjo@spsdme.org 

SPHS

Jenn DiMauro BSN RN

dimaurje@spsdme.org 

SPHS

Eileen Spencer M.Ed, BSN RN

spencei@spsdme.org 

 

Important Travel Update:  As of Monday, November 16th, Massachusetts has been taken off the list of exempt states for travel. At this point, only New Hampshire and Vermont are exempt from restrictions when traveling to or returning to Maine. Remember that if your family is planning to travel to a non-exempt state, your student will need to quarantine for 14 days or test upon return to Maine. A negative test will be needed before returning to school.

This is not dependent on the length of time spent within the restricted states, meaning that a day visit still requires any person to quarantine for 14 days or until a negative test result is confirmed. All members of the household who travel must test or quarantine if over 12 months old. 

*This includes travel during Thanksgiving or winter break, to pick a child up from school, or to visit family.*

COVID Testing: we want to be sure everyone has resources for COVID testing. Below are a list of a few options in the area that are available outside your family doctor. All these locations allow you to book online or by phone.

 

  1. AFC Urgent Care South Portland: Offers standard PCR and rapid molecular testing. They do require a tele-health visit prior to testing. You can book online at: AFC Urgent Care South Portland or call them at (207)358-3188.

  2. Portland Jetport: Now offering testing for passengers and community members. They are offering the standard PCR test at no cost with results in about 72 hours or the rapid molecular testing for $25 with test results in about 1 hour. You can book online with them at: Portland Jetport COVID Testing 

  3. Westbrook Fire Department: swab and send site (results take about 7-10 days).  If you do not have insurance they will offer testing at no cost. You can book online at Westbrook Public Safety 

  4. Mercy Fore River: swab and send site (results take about 7-10 days).  You can book online at Northern Light Mercy COVID Testing.

  5. Further Test site information for Maine can be found here.

 

*Not all rapid testing is created equal.  Both AFC and the Portland Jetport have molecular rapid testing which is what you should seek out.  Rapid antigen testing is not as accurate (greater likelihood of false negative in an asymptomatic person) and should be avoided.*

Don't take no for an answer! The standing order per the State of Maine states everyone can have access to testing regardless of symptoms.

If you have questions about exposure, testing, travel or symptoms please reach out to your school nurse.

Wishing you all the best,

Ken Kunin