Dear Staff and Brewer Schools’ Families,
This letter is to inform you that an individual associated with Brewer High School (BHS) has recently tested positive for COVID-19.
We will have a remote learning day for cohort B this Friday, November 20 and close the high school building. Students should look for an email from teachers that will give instruction on how to log into classes. Students who are not able to connect for their classes will be able to make up the work.
There are a few reasons for this decision. First, we just found out about the case and need time to fully investigate per Maine Center for Disease Control (MCDC) guidelines and protocols. We have not finished that process at this point in time. Second, Friday is the last day for students to be at BHS before the November break. This is due to parent/teacher conferences that are already scheduled for next Monday, November 23 and Tuesday, November 24. Therefore, out of caution, we want to make sure we get this right and because of the timing we will not be significantly disrupting students’ educational programs.
Nothing in this case has any impact on Brewer Community School (BCS), so they will have their regularly scheduled Friday with cohort B tomorrow, November 20.
As we identify close contacts they will be notified this afternoon by phone and/or email with additional information.
BHS will have a bag lunch available. Here is the request form: Lunch Request Form. Families can pick up the lunch at BHS on Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Please submit your form by 9:00 a.m.
As always we continue to ask all families to monitor students for any symptoms. The same is true for Brewer School Department staff. Individuals should call a health care provider if they develop symptoms. It is important to call a healthcare facility before showing up in person if symptoms appear.
People should stay home when they are sick. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that ranges from mild to severe. It can be more severe in adults 60 years and older and in those with underlying conditions. The virus mainly spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes and an uninfected person breathes in the virus. Signs and symptoms include the following:
• fever or chills
• shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• muscle or body aches
• new loss of taste or smell
• sore throat
• congestion or runny nose
• nausea or vomiting or diarrhea
Please keep in mind that many things can cause respiratory illness, so students and staff should be up-to-date on influenza and routine vaccinations.
A negative test result does not get an individual out of quarantine. Maine CDC recommends prevention measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We have incorporated these into our Keys to Safety in the Brewer Schools.
While it is rare for cases to spread inside a school setting due to diligent masking and the observance of other safety practices, we are thoroughly investigating this case and remain vigilant about our safety plans and are taking every precaution in the actions outlined above.
Questions for the school should be directed to Superintendent Gregg Palmer by calling (207)989-3160 or to our school nurses Cathy Sherman RN at BHS 989-4140 or Carol Warmuth RN at BCS 404-5702.
These are anxious times, and we are your partners in taking deliberate, safety conscious steps based on guidance from the epidemiologists at the Maine CDC in order to keep our community safe and our schools open. Brewer High School will be back up and running following the November break.
Gregg Palmer, Superintendent of Schools