SCARBOROUGH — In March 2020, life in the U.S. came almost to a standstill. The virus COVID-19 had crossed onto our shores and in an effort to stop it and the curtail the loss of human life caused by the disease schools and businesses closed. Most people stayed home for at least part of that year and many stayed home and changed the way they lived for even longer.

COVID is still among us but in many areas of life the world has gone back to normal, or at least the new normal as people learn to live with the disease. The same holds true at Scarborough public schools.

According to Scarborough Superintendent of Schools Geoffrey Bruno, Scarborough, like many other public schools in the state are following the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) document, developed by Maine CDC and DOE, which provided the framework for how schools across Maine were to respond to COVID cases among students and staff.

In response to changes in case numbers, climbing vaccination rates, and changes to CDC recommendations at the federal level, he said, the document underwent frequent updates that rolled back many preventative protocols.

“In June, the SOP document was officially retired,” Bruno said, “along with most COVID related protocols with respect to social distancing, universal masking requirements, contract tracing, and quarantines.”

In August, the Maine DOE provided an update for schools, that was shared with the community, he said. The guidance answered a number of questions, such as:


• What if my child tests positive for COVID?

“If your child develops symptoms and tests positive for COVID, they must stay at home regardless of vaccination status. They should remain home for a full 5 days from the onset of symptoms, if their symptoms are improving, they may return to school on day 6. They must wear a well-fitting mask for an additional 5 days upon their return.”

More information about isolation can be found on the US CDC Website.

(Scarborough Public Schools is no longer be conducting COVID testing in schools.)

• What if my child is exposed to COVID, but does not have any symptoms?

“Individuals should follow US CDC recommendations on what to do if you are exposed to COVID-19.


In short, as long as your child does not have any symptoms and is testing negative, they may attend school. It is recommended that the student mask for 10 days following their exposure and remain home if they develop symptoms. The CDC removed the recommendation for close contacts to quarantine, unless they are symptomatic.”

• What about COVID vaccinations?

“CDC recommends COVID-19 primary series vaccines for everyone ages 6 months and older, and COVID-19 boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older, if eligible. See US CDC website for more information at,

Although, masking is no longer required, Bruno said, “students and staff can elect to wear a mask. Our health services team recommends any student or staff member that knows they have been exposed to someone with COVID wear a mask around others for a period of 10 days. Students or staff who test positive or are experiencing symptoms should isolate at home for five days or until their symptoms resolve, consistent with CDC recommendations, and mask for five days upon return.”

The recommendations for those participating in athletics of school clubs are the same, Bruno said..

In addition to changes taken place in COVID protocols, Bruno said staffing is still problematic.

“Like all other districts in York and Cumberland County, and many other counties across Maine, we still have open student support positions, particularly educational technicians, and struggle to maintain an adequate number of substitutes to cover teacher or staff absences,” he said. “This continues to be a significant challenge for almost all SAUs in Maine.”

Comments are not available on this story.