April 30, 2021
Earlier this week, Governor Mills and the Maine CDC released new mask guidelines. We are excited about the opportunity to modify our policies at school in response to these new guidelines. While modifying restrictions, we will continue to work diligently to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 on campus. I appreciate the efforts everyone is making, but as we have learned, one positive case on campus can impact many others in school.
The Governor’s updated guidelines will allow NYA to modify restrictions in the following ways:
- Teachers leading outdoor activities or teaching in an outdoor classroom will now be permitted to allow students a mask break as long as students can maintain six feet of distancing.
- In response to the Governor’s announcement, The Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) revised its guidance on masks for athletics. Students will no longer be required to wear masks at outdoor athletic competitions. The athletes and coaches will continue to wear masks on the sidelines and benches. At practice, athletes will not be required to wear masks while engaging in game-like activities or coach-supervised activities where a distancing of six feet can be maintained. At other times during practice when six feet of distance cannot be maintained, athletes will continue to wear masks. NYA will still require spectators to be masked at athletic contests.
- The Maine Department of Education (DOE) and MPA guidance allows NYA to ease restrictions as listed above. However, the guidance from the Maine DOE still requires masks to be worn outside when six feet of distancing cannot be maintained. Students will still be required to wear masks during recess, walking between buildings, and other unstructured times on campus to maintain consistency with Maine guidelines.
The Maine CDC also announced that on Saturday, May 1, all 50 states will be moved the exempt category. NYA will maintain its policy of testing or quarantining following a visit to a state outside of New England. Students in receipt of a negative PCR test, administered five days after returning to Maine, may return to school. Students not testing will be required to quarantine for 10 days. There are many reasons to travel, and we want to be supportive of our families in this regard. However, travel still carries a higher risk. NYA is maintaining this guideline not only in the interest of health and safety, but to limit the possibility of other students being affected as close contacts and forced to miss school during the final month of the school year. Fully vaccinated individuals are exempt from quarantine or testing.
Again, I would like to thank everyone for your continued support as we navigate the challenges of COVID-19. Remember, you can find updates to most NYA COVID policies through this link on the NYA COVID page.
Head of School
If you have questions specific to this case at NYA, please contact Ashley Moody, NYA Health Services Coordinator.
For general COVID-19 questions, dial 211 (or 1-866-811-5695). You can also text your ZIP code to 898-211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, call a health care provider. More information can be found at www.maine.gov/dhhs/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.