Contact Tracing and SARA Alerts

posted Sep 2, 2021, 1:21 PM by Vincent Vanier
letter
Dear Valley Unified Parent(s)/Guardian(s):

We hope to maintain full in-school instruction throughout the school year by maintaining a safe environment for our students, employees, families, and communities. To support those goals, we will follow guidance and requirements from both the Maine Department of Education and United States Center for Disease Control. One requirement we must follow is to conduct contract tracing if one of our students or staff is diagnosed as
COVID-positive.

If your child is identified as a close contact of a person who has been found to have COVID-19 in school, you will be contacted by your School Nurse, who also will have to upload your child’s names to the SARA Alert system for symptom monitoring. Once your child’s name is uploaded into the system, you will receive a “Welcome” text message from (844) 957-2721, and a contact tracer/symptom monitor will call you, if needed.

Please note, if your child is vaccinated or taking part in a school pooled testing program, then (s)he will not be uploaded into this system. You either have recently been contacted or soon will be contacted about how to enroll your child in the pooled testing program at your school. If your child is neither vaccinated nor participating in a school pooled testing program, and you do not want to participate in the SARA Alert system, you can refuse
to take part by blocking the ”Welcome” text from (844) 957-2721. Even blocked text messages, though, will receive one phone call from a contact tracer/symptom monitor with the Maine Center for Disease Control to check in. A contact tracer/symptom monitor will also call those families without a cell phone number.

We understand you may have concerns about privacy, and want to assure you that only basic information concerning your child and your contact information is entered into the SARA Alert system, and that it is removed immediately after your child’s period of quarantine ends. In the past, parents could sign a form refusing to participate in the follow-up process. Under new guidelines, this is no longer a choice. Again, though, you can choose not to participate in this process by blocking the ”Welcome” text from (844) 957-2721. With questions about the SARA Alert system, please contact your School Nurse. Stay safe and be well.

Respectfully,

Benjamin Sirois
Superintendent of Schools
Ċ
Vincent Vanier,
Sep 2, 2021, 1:23 PM
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