Reporting COVID-19 During the Holiday Break

To: Parents/Guardians and Students of Valley Unified School Districts

From: Benjamin Sirois, Superintendent of Schools 

Date: December 20, 2021

Re: Reporting COVID-19 Over Holiday Break

Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, and Staff Members,

It goes without saying that this first stretch of the school year has resulted in extra work for many, if not all employees. This is even more true for our dedicated school nurses. The level of work involved with contact tracing, family notifications, pooled testing, follow up testing, and all the other school nurse responsibilities are overwhelming at times. Thankfully, we have some of the most dedicated school nurses in Aroostook County and the State!

Out of respect to our school nurses and the work they have done for us, we have decided that our nurses need a well-deserved holiday vacation. We are, therefore, notifying all of you that beginning at noon on Wednesday, December 22, and extending through Sunday, January 2, our school nurses will be off for the holidays and will not be conducting any contact tracing of close contacts during that period of time.

If you suspect that you may have COVID-19 over the holiday break, please contact your health provider to discuss options and visit a test center in your community. In the event that you or someone in your household is COVID-19 positive, please remember that an isolation/quarantine period of 10 days is required; therefore, no one should be returning to school on Monday, January 3 if those conditions have not been met.

Please contact the Maine CDC disease reporting contact hotline at 1-800-821-5821 to get help and information from staff there regarding required isolation and/or quarantine periods. We also ask that families err on the side of caution and contact the school nurse Monday morning on January 3 if you are still uncertain of when someone can return to school due to household positivity during the holiday break.

Additionally, due to the Department of Education’s contract with Concentric, there will be no pooled testing this week. Thank you for your understanding. We wish you a happy and safe holiday season.

Benjamin Sirois 

Superintendent of Schools