Maine schools told to prepare for full time return in the fall

Desk(Associated Press)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 4:09 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Maine students should prepare to be back in school full time in the fall.

That guidance came from the Department of Education on Wednesday.

School districts have been alerted that physical distancing requirements will be relaxed.

Also, schools are being encouraged to participate in the state’s free pooled COVID-19 testing program.

DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew says the guidance for this school year came at a time when not much was known about the virus and no one had been vaccinated.

Now, things are changing.

“We felt comfortable saying it’s time. The recommendations and requirements that had previously been a barrier to some schools having kids in school five days a week full-time, that can go away. We had this time to think that the state wide requirements for physical distancing are no longer needed,” Lambrew said.

When asked about benchmarks that may need to be reached to allow for students and staff to go without masks, state officials said there were no specific numbers they were shooting for.

Lambrew did say schools will need to take into account things like the testing program and vaccine rates.

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