“Am I doing this right?”
Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19,
Quarantining, Vaccines, and Travel
updated September 24, 2021
Are things different this year in terms of social distancing, athletics and activities, classroom setup, and morning check-ins?
Yes! Please see the NYA Return to Campus Plan for 2021 – 2022 school year for all the details.
Do I really need to stay home?
- If you have one of the following symptoms, you cannot attend school:
- new, uncontrolled cough
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- new loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- If you have two of the following symptoms, you cannot attend school:
- new headache
- significant myalgia (muscle pain)
- unexplained runny nose or congestion
- We strongly recommend if your child is not feeling well to consider the “wait and see approach” at home or consider rapid testing if symptomatic.
- You must be fever-free without medications for more than 24 hours in order to return to school.
**Although nausea/vomiting or diarrhea alone are not strong indicators of COVID-19, students may not return to school until they are free of these symptoms for at least 24 hours without medication.
Can I participate in remote learning like last year if must quarantine or if I’m not feeling well?
We will not offer remote learning as a long-term substitution for in-person learning, but we will continue to offer remote learning on a finite basis for special circumstances outlined in our full policy here.
What is “pooled testing,” why do we do it, and do I/my kids really have to participate?
Pooled Testing Defined
- In a nutshell, pooled testing is a screening approach that combines samples from a group of people into one laboratory test. If a pool tests positive, each person within the pool is then tested individually to identify who within that group is positive.
- Pooled testing is an effective tool for the school and our students, and we are pleased to provide pooled COVID-19 tests weekly for all faculty, staff, and students in grades K-PG for this school year at no cost. Both vaccination rates and pooled testing participation will provide some key data as we look to reduce restrictions in the future. Pooled testing allows for almost real-time assessment of our school community’s risk related to COVID. In addition, the pooled testing will allow for reduced quarantine restrictions for close contacts as we will be able to perform serial individual testing (i.e. testing on individuals for several consecutive days).
When and how is it done?
- We will administer the tests on Thursday mornings. All participants in a classroom or pool will swab their noses with short swabs. The swabs will be deposited into a specific container and collected by a member of the Health Services Office.
- Our Health Services Office will receive results over the weekend, and if a positive result is produced from a pooled test, all persons in that pool will be notified and given individual diagnostic Binax Now “follow up testing” beginning on Monday morning at NYA to determine individual results.
- To participate, this consent form must be signed.
Do I have to?
- Though we highly recommend students participate in pooled testing (even those who are vaccinated), it is not required. All faculty and staff are required to participate.
What if I choose not to?
- Those who choose not to participate will not take a swab each Thursday, but they must follow the regular quarantine restrictions if they are a close contact of an individual with COVID-19.
When am I considered fully vaccinated?
From the CDC: People are considered fully vaccinated:
- Two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine
If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated.
Now that I’m vaccinated, can I stop wearing a mask and social distancing?
No! From the CDC: “After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions – like wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces – in public places until we know more.”
What CAN you do now that you’re fully vaccinated?
Vaccination exemption: Individuals who have completed a COVID-19 vaccination series and are 14 days beyond the completion of the series are exempt from the testing and quarantine requirements. Thus, fully vaccinated individuals in most circumstances do not have to quarantine after contact with a person who tests positive or after travel to non-exempt states. Federal guidelines regarding international travel still apply. Fully vaccinated individuals also are required to undergo testing if they develop symptoms.
What if I’ve already had COVID-19?
Exemption for those who have had COVID-19: An individual who had a positive COVID-19 molecular or antigen test is exempt from the testing and the quarantine requirement for 90 days (3 months) after their first positive test, provided they remain asymptomatic.
What is NYA doing in terms of contact tracing?
The NYA Health and Safety Team has determined contact tracing measures under the guidance of the Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Maine Department of Education.
My child was identified as a “close contact”- what do I do now?
If your child was identified as a close contact outside of school, your first step is to contact the NYA Health Services office. Once a student is identified as a close contact, next steps vary depending on their vaccination status and pooled testing participation:
Students who ARE Vaccinated::
- Must obtain a PCR test four to five days after contact and submit results via email to NYA’s Health Services Coordinator, Ashley Moody, unless they are participating in NYA’s pooled testing.
- Should wear a mask until they receive a negative test result.
- Do NOT need to quarantine from school or community events in most circumstances unless they test positive or develop symptoms.
Students who are NOT Vaccinated but ARE Participating in Pooled Testing at NYA:
- Should wear a mask until they receive a negative test result.
- If the close contact occurred at school or a school event:
- Do NOT need to quarantine from school and school activities unless they test positive or develop symptoms, but DO need to quarantine from community events for 10 days.
- If the close contact occurred outside of school:
- Must quarantine from school, school events, and community events for 10 days.
Students who are NOT Vaccinated and are NOT Currently Participating in Pooled Testing at NYA:
- Are encouraged to obtain a PCR test four to five days after contact and submit results to NYA’s Health Services Coordinator, Ashley Moody.
- Must quarantine from school and school activities for 14 days and from community activities for 10 days.
A reminder that all tests must be PCR tests.
For domestic travel, anyone who is not vaccinated and not participating in pooled testing will be asked to follow the CDC’s recommendations for people who are not fully vaccinated. There are no restrictions regarding domestic travel, but please consider the risks and take steps to mitigate exposure during travel. For international travel, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to obtain a negative PCR test within 72 hours of travel. You will also need to receive a negative PCR test within 3-5 days after travel. Unvaccinated individuals must also quarantine for seven days in addition to a negative PCR test. Quarantine period without a negative PCR test is 10 days. Full international travel guidelines are available through this link.
See the Maine CDC webpage on Travel for more details and information on international travel
For up-to-date data on COVID-19, visit this CDC Data Tracker link.