MEA continues to monitor the recommendations of the CDC and will continue to provide information as the Association receives it, hoping to address as many questions from our members as possible. Here is what MEA knows as of 3/19/2020.   
 
UPDATE: Someone at My Work Location Tested Positive   
Maine CDC said today (3/19/2020) that when someone affiliated with a school community is infected with COVID-19 the state agency will notify the superintendent and the school nurse. The Maine CDC said today it will work with the infected individual to identify anyone they have had “close contact” with.   
 
“Close contact” is defined by the CDC as a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case – or – b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).   
 
The Maine CDC also stated it will be up to the school district to identify anyone who has been in potential casual or incidental close contact with that individual who tested positive and then the Maine CDC will be in touch with those people directly.   
 
In the event a staff member or student tests positive, presumptive positive or is quarantined due to possible exposure, as of 3/19/2020, the MEA recommends, consistent with CDC guidance, the school connected to the case(s) should be closed for 2-5 days in order for the school administration and local health officials to assess and determine next steps.    
 
Following this assessment, it may be determined that the schools should remain closed to students and most staff for a longer period of time. If possible, the school should wait at least 24 hours following closure before staff begins cleaning and disinfecting the school. In addition, in accordance with CDC guidelines, MEA recommends any and all students who may have been in “close contact” with that case(s) should follow the instructions of local health department officials. These instructions may include self-isolation, quarantine, staying home, self-monitoring, avoiding close contact with others, and/or practicing social distancing.   
  
MEA recommends that all staff be allowed the flexibility to work remotely. All staff should be paid during this time.  
 
Remote Learning Support  
MEA is currently working to create professional development for our members on how to best teach our students in a remote learning environment. MEA understands these are unique circumstances and is here to provide you the support you need so you can best educate your students. Please keep an eye on your email and on MEA’s social media pages for information about these opportunities in the coming days/weeks.  
 
If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. https://maineea.org/coronavirus/  
  
Stay Strong and Stay Safe,  
Grace Leavitt  
MEA President