MAINE, USA — Editor's note: This video originally aired Dec. 29.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Maine Department of Education on Thursday issued updates to the state's guidelines for responding to COVID cases in schools.
These updates were made prior to students returning from the winter holiday break, officials said. They reflect new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on quarantine and isolation periods.
One of the changes includes shortening isolation and quarantine periods for students and staff to be in line with new updates from the U.S. CDC.
Also, Maine CDC will no longer consider exposure to COVID in an outdoor setting or on a school bus (where the federal government requires masks to be worn) as a "close contact."
To read the full list of changes, click here.
"According to Maine’s Vaccination Dashboard, as of Dec. 29, 49.3% of children ages five to 19 were fully vaccinated for COVID," a news release from the Maine CDC and DEO stated. "Data from the U.S. CDC tracker show that Maine ranks fourth highest among states in the percent of five to 17-year-olds fully vaccinated."