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Letter from Principal - December 2022

Dear Ocean Avenue Families,

Ocean Avenue School had an increased absentee rate of students and staff for respiratory and flu illness. Given this rise in reported cases, we are consulting with the Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC). We will work with them to monitor our absences and to consult regarding their guidance to limit the spread of illness.

We anticipate keeping school open as long as we have adequate staffing and ask everyone’s cooperation to limit the spread of illness - we encourage mask wearing for staff and students. 

Anyone who has a fever or is feeling sick should stay home, even if they test negative for COVID. Anyone with a fever should stay home until they are fever-free (without taking medicine) for 24 hours. We recommend masking for 7 days after flu or flu-like symptoms begin.  

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

influenza, flu, vaccine, vaccination, flu shot

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes

Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • fever* or feeling feverish/chills

  • cough

  • sore throat

  • runny or stuffy nose

  • muscle or body aches

  • headaches

  • fatigue (tiredness)

  • some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

To help reduce the spread of flu and flu-like viruses:

  • Stay home when you are sick

  • Cover cough and sneezes

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with viruses that cause flu.

  • For flu, CDC recommends that people stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone, except to get medical care or other necessities. Fever should be gone without the need to use a fever-reducing medicine. Note that the stay-at-home guidance for COVID-19 may be different. Learn about some of the similarities and differences between flu and COVID-19.

Here are some additional resources from the Maine CDC that may be helpful as we navigate this latest challenge. 

Thanks for your cooperation and understanding,

Beverly Stevens

OAES Principal