Lewiston school committee amends COVID-19 quarantine guidelines for outdoor activities


LEWISTON – The Lewiston school committee voted 7-1 Monday night to change the outdoor quarantine rules in response to calls from members of the Lewiston High School field hockey team and their parents.

During the public comments, field hockey teammates Savannah Connor-Schade, Jasmine Connor-Schade, Taylor Melvin, Madison Freeman and Calezia Dow and Lexi Freeman expressed their dismay at not being able to play the final game of the season due to the quarantine guidelines.

A teammate, with whom they came in close contact, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

“We come here because we believe it is unfair and inconsistent guidelines that keep us from playing our game and going to school,” said Savannah Connor-Schade, highlighting several conflicting policies within public schools of Lewiston, and against guidelines. from Edward Little High School in Auburn.

“We’re upset, we’re upset, we’re not happy that we can’t play in our last game. It’s not fair to our senior that she can’t play in her senior night even though she spent four years of her life in field hockey doing it, ”said Savannah Connor-Schade.

The Senior Night is a special celebration of the accomplishments and contributions of athletes in their senior year.

The school committee was sympathetic to the students’ situation and their discussion mainly focused on potential actions that would allow them to play in their final match.

Some participants expressed concern about the discussion.

President Megan Parks said she believes it may not be right to make a policy change without notifying the school community in advance.

Allison Lytton, president of the Lewiston Education Association, parent and teacher at Lewiston Public Schools, agreed.

“I think we really have to keep an eye on the tie in these situations and also make sure there’s an informed decision,” Lytton said. “I think the performance isn’t in the room to really have a conversation about it.”

After nearly two hours of discussion, Ward 6 representative Ronald Potvin suggested changing the quarantine windows for students participating in an outdoor activity. The new guidelines would allow students designated as close contacts to return to school after seven days if they are negative for COVID-19 with a verified test outside of school on day five, or a rapid test at school the seventh day. The motion also states that physical contact must be demonstrated and not presumed.

Members voted 8 to 1 in favor of the motion, with Ward 1 representative Bruce Damon voting against. The motion covers outdoor sports and other outdoor activities, such as recreation.

According to Superintendent Jake Langlais, each of the girls considered to be in close contact with the field hockey team will be tested on Tuesday. If they test negative, they will be allowed to return to school and play the final match against Bangor High School on Tuesday night.

“Thank you all for doing this tonight and listening to us and giving us a chance,” said Savannah Connor-Schade. “Thank you.”

According to President Parks, the committee will hold a workshop and discussion on the entire standard operating procedure for COVID-19 quarantine, likely at the next meeting on November 1.

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