DIXFIELD — Recent changes in state guidelines for handling COVID-19 cases have helped keep more students in class, Regional School Unit 56 Superintendent Pam Doyen told directors Tuesday.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention revised its standard operating procedure for schools Tuesday, after the board meeting at Dirigo High School.

Doyen noted key changes include:

• Those who test positive for COVID-19 isolate for five days instead of 10.

• A school outbreak is considered 15% of students and staff being out of school, with a follow-up by a CDC evaluation.

• Contact tracing is no longer needed for people during outside activities or on school buses.

• People participating in pooled testing do not have to quarantine as close contacts, whether the contact took place at school or in the community.

The CDC’s latest Standard Operating Procedure can be viewed online at https://tinyurl.com/4c3dw9rm

Doyen said positive cases of the virus, including people in quarantine, dropped from 188 to 32 from Dec. 15 to Jan. 11. Of the 32 out of school, 18 were tested positive and 14 quarantined because of close contacts.

Of the 188 students out of school from Nov. 24 to Dec. 14, 37 tested positive cases and 151 were in quarantine.

The district includes Dixfield, Carthage, Canton and Peru.


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