St. John Valley

Valley Unified schools to host COVID-19 vaccine clinics ahead of school year

FORT KENT, Maine — As COVID-19 cases, including the delta variant of the virus increase throughout Maine, Valley Unified schools will offer vaccine clinics for staff and students ahead of the new school year. 

School begins Wednesday, Aug. 25, for all Valley Unified middle/high schools and Fort Kent Elementary School. Dr. Levesque Elementary School and Madawaska Elementary School will start classes on Sept. 9. 

The first round of vaccine clinics will take place Aug. 23 and 24, with additional clinics to follow Sept. 13 and 14. 

Valley Unified is hosting the clinics in conjunction with St. John Valley Pharmacy, which will provide the vaccines to students ages 12-and-older, as well as to all interested school staff members. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that all teachers and students wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, although it is up to individual schools whether they will enforce the use of masks. 

SAD 33 will require staff and students to wear masks indoors this school year, whereas the Madawaska School Department voted earlier in the month to make masks optional. SAD 27 will decide its strategy at its Monday, Aug. 16, board meeting.

Clinics will take place Monday, Aug. 23 and Monday, Sept. 13 at 8:30 a.m. at the Wisdom Middle/High School gymnasium, and 1 p.m. those same days at the Madawaska Middle High School cafeteria.

They will also take place, Tuesday, Aug. 24 and Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 8:30 a.m. in the music room of the Fort Kent Community High School/Valley Rivers Middle School building.

Parental consent is required for students ages 12-17 to receive the vaccinations. Parents who want their children to be vaccinated at the clinics should contact their local Valley Unified schools by noon on Friday, Aug. 20.

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