The Maine Department of Education unveiled a new tool for communities and families while we traverse our way through a modern pandemic.

An online dashboard has been created for people to see which schools are currently being impacted by the novel coronavirus COVID-19.  The dashboard is updated twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays to reflect the status of the past 30 days for confirmed and probable cases happening at Maine schools, specifically those Pre Kindergarten through 12th grade.

The dashboard does not directly show case specifications when 1 to 4 people are confirmed or probable, but does add the school to the list if there is at least one case.  A school will not be included unless it is a part of the past 30 days of confirmed or probable cases.

A note added to the table states expands on how cases are added, how close contacts are included, how an outbreak is determined and when information may be suppressed to protect identities:

This table includes individuals who have (1) a positive laboratory test for COVID-19 as reported to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention ("confirmed case"), and (2) close contacts of confirmed cases who have reported symptoms consistent with COVID-19 ("probable case").  Cases are included if the infected individual lives in Maine and is (1) associated with the school (as either a staff member or student) and (2) was physically present on campus, including participating in group school activities (e.g., sports).

Schools with no cases are not listed.  Close contacts of confirmed cases who do not themselves have symptoms or have not tested positive for COVID-19 are not included in this table.  The data in this table reflect the number of cumulative cases over the past 30 days and include cases who may have recovered.  New information learned through testing and contact tracing may change the data in the table.  The number of cases is suppressed to protect privacy in any school with fewer than 5 cases.  Schools with fewer than 25 students will be reported at the school district/school administrative unit level for the same reason.

An outbreak investigation is opened after detecting three or more epidemiologically linked, confirmed cases among different households over 14 days.  An outbreak investigation is closed when there has not been a new case associated with the school for 28 days (two incubation periods).  A school will not be listed as having an open outbreak if it previously had an outbreak that has since been closed.

For more information on how the Maine Department of Education is dealing with the pandemic, including resources for students and parents as well as a framework for returning to in-person learning, visit the Maine.gov's Maine Department of Education website.