COVID-19: Communities, Workplaces, and Schools

Communities, workplaces, and schools all play a role in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Update for Employers: If you have an employee who tested positive or is a close contact, please work with them directly to determine when it is safe for them to return to work. Maine CDC is no longer providing release from isolation (PDF) and release from quarantine (PDF) letters. Maine CDC does not recommend that employers require a negative test to return to work for individuals who tested positive.

 

On this page:

 

Recommendations for COVID Positive Cases

Maine CDC created informational packets with recommendations for certain groups:

 

At-Home, Self-Collection Tests for COVID-19

Maine CDC created guidance for at-home, self-collection tests for COVID-19 (PDF), including when to consider using an at-home, self-collection test and what to do after a positive or negative result.

Community Mitigation

Community mitigation activities are actions that people and communities can take to slow the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Mitigation strategies include:

  • Personal protective measures (handwashing, wearing face coverings, etc) that individuals can use while in community settings
  • Social distancing (maintaining physical distancing of 6 feet or more from others)
  • Environmental surface cleaning at home and in community settings like schools and businesses

 

Businesses and Workplaces

Worker safety and support is critical to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. CDC has many resources available including health and safety steps for the workplace.

Maine's Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has a general COVID-19 prevention checklist for safely operating businesses. For questions about this checklist, please contact Maine DECD by calling 1-800-872-3838 or by emailing business.answers@maine.gov.

U.S. CDC also has guidance available for cleaning and disinfecting facilities as well as guidance for reopening buidings after shutdown.

As businesses work on updating and revising their safety plans and contingency plans for if a case is identified in their workplace, a number of questions may come up that businesses need help answering. First, check to see if U.S. CDC has addressed the question in their workplaces and businesses website. If that question is not addressed, you can contact Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821 or by email at disease.reporting@maine.gov (this email is not secure and patient information should not be sent).

 

Schools and Early Care and Education

Public health policies, such as quarantine length, are determined by local health authorities and are based on the latest available science from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC). According to the U.S. CDC, “Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs.” In Maine, the “local public health authority” is the Maine CDC.

The Maine CDC’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on the Investigation of COVID-19 in Pre-K-12 Schools sets forth Maine CDC’s recommendations for prevention and management of COVID-19 in school settings. But where a particular public health policy applies generally to everyone in the state, regardless of age or setting, only the Maine CDC may establish the policy (e.g., quarantine or isolation length). For matters that are internal to a school setting, the school system itself may set the guidance. Schools must adhere to Maine CDC’s uniform, statewide quarantine policy.

Please see Maine's Department of Education (Maine DOE) webpage for COVID-19 for the most recent updates and resources for schools.

U.S. CDC also has Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools available.

Find the most updated COVID-19 isolation, quarantine, and "Test to Stay" guidance for Maine early care and education settings. Find frequently asked questions about the "Test to Stay" guidance and other information here under the "Child Care Licensing" tab.

If you are looking for child care, please visit the Child Care Choices website. Please visit Maine's Child Care Subsidy Program website for information on the Child Care Subsidy Program and information on applying.

See Maine's school-based guidance for rapid antigen testing (PDF).

Day and Overnight Camps

For day and overnight camps, recommended testing strategies:

  • Antigen testing
    • One option is to order BinaxNOW antigen testing (compatible with pooled testing option below) by filling out this form to apply and follow the BinaxNOW guidance available on our webpage.
  • Pooled PCR testing
  • Private PCR testing
    • Connect with and purchase PCR tests from a private lab facility.

Additional U.S. CDC Guidance

 

Posters

Guidance and Other Resources