Mask Mandate Lifted in Sanford Schools

School Board votes for optional masking

BY LACI WILLETTE, STAFF WRITER

On March 8, The Sanford School Committee voted to make lift the mask mandate in Sanford Public Schools, making masking optional regardless of vaccination status, starting Wednesday, March 9. 

The vote was prompted after the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Maine Department of Education (DOE) announced that Maine school units would move to optional masking on March 9. This decision comes nearly two years after Sanford schools first went remote in 2020 out of caution of the Coronavirus.

Other COVID mitigation strategies will remain in place for the time being, according to Matt Nelson, Sanford Schools Superintendent. The district “will continue to monitor the data and are optimistic for a gradual release as conditions continue to improve.”

According to the letter sent by Sanford Schools to families and staff, pool testing will still continue and recommendations for quarantine will remain the same. Masking for an additional five days after release from quarantine and a return to school (days 6-10).

The letter also encourages families to continue to be mindful of other children and staff members, noting that folks should stay home if they are not feeling well or showing any symptoms.

In the letter, Nelson also made a point to emphasize empathy and compassion to the community. “We must remain mindful that each child, staff member or family will make the decision on masking that they feel is best for them. We all need to be respectful of these decisions.”

“We expect some students and staff to struggle with this change,” Nelson adds.  “I ask that we all continue to model understanding, compassion and civility as we make this transition.”

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