Reporting COVID Positive Results and Response to a Positive Case:
Reporting COVID Positive Results
Any member of the Portland Public Schools community (staff, students and families) should report positive cases immediately to a school or district administrator or a school nurse immediately upon confirmation of a positive test. Reporting promptly during nights or weekends is critical, as timely communication will be key to reducing spread. Any report made to an administrator will be immediately reported to Xavier Botana or Aaron Townsend who will coordinate with nurse supervisor Tina Vellieux. Staff and families can call 207-874-8110 after school hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ReSPONSE TO A COVID POSITIVE CASE
The CDC will initiate an investigation when it learns of a confirmed case of COVID 19 within a school. If the school learns before the CDC, the school nurse and/or administrator will alert the superintendent and the Maine DOE school nurse consultant, who is the primary contact for schools to Maine CDC.
OUTBREAK STATUS AND CLOSURE CRITERIA
The CDC evaluates a school for an outbreak when there are 3 or more positive cases from different households that meet CDC criteria for investigation. CDC criteria for investigation include the type of COVID test (ie. antigen or PCR), the number of days since the individual was present in school, and any known positive contacts in or out of school. Potential outbreaks are reviewed by the CDC and each case is evaluated on an individual basis. Only the CDC can classify a facility as an outbreak.
Free COVID-19 Testing for Students & Staff
Thanks to our collaboration with Greater Portland Health, the district is able to offer COVID-19 testing free of cost for any students and staff who report COVID symptoms. Testing will be arranged through your school nurse if you call in and report symptoms that meet criteria for testing.
The clinic is located in the lower level of the administration building and is open from 9:30 to 11:00 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. In order to preserve staff (and student) confidentiality, all tests will be scheduled so no walk in testing will be available. Test results will normally be available within 24 hours. Staff should not return to work, even if COVID -19 test results are negative, until they are feeling better, respiratory symptoms have improved and they have been free of fever for 24 hours (without taking fever reducing medicine). Anyone who is ill should contact their healthcare provider.
We are happy to provide this service. Please note that staff can choose to go to another testing location arranged through their primary care provider or another testing site. If you select to do that, please be aware that if you let them know that you are a school employee which is considered an essential service, your test results should be prioritized. Local testing sites can be found here https://get-tested-covid19.org. Our school testing site is not available evenings or weekends.
Also, if an employee tests positive or is presumed positive by their physician, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services provides support for isolation and quarantine if living arrangements are not conducive to mitigating the risk of spreading the virus. Because these services do not kick in until a presumed or positive result, we will also consider supporting short term housing alternatives through our Families in Crisis Fund. To access that benefit, contact Maureen Clancy at the Multilingual and Multicultural Center, email@example.com.
At-home Covid-19 tests are available for purchase. While these tests are useful to self- monitor, please be aware these tests are not accepted at school if testing is required for travel, exposure, or symptoms. If you or your student needs a COVID test, check out: https://get-tested-covid19.org or ask your school nurse about our PPS testing clinic for students and staff.
BinaxNOW rapid testing will be available in all schools.
POOLED TESTING- Pooled testing for K through 6th grade will be administered through the state funded program. See the pooled testing page for more information.