UNION — The Regional School Unit 40 Board of Directors continued to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic at their Nov. 4 meeting.

The board discussed an upcoming vaccine clinic for elementary and middle school students and set a mask policy for winter sports.

Superintendent Steve Nolan said since the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine had been approved for children ages 5 to 11 on Nov. 2, the district would be hosting a vaccine clinic at district elementary schools and the middle school.

The district is partnering with Lincoln Health to offer an initial round of the vaccine Nov. 12 and Nov. 15.

Nolan said the district was currently in the process of sending information home to families about this clinic for those who were interested in participating.

The board also approved indoor sports and performing arts guidelines for the 2021-2022 school year.

The approved guidelines state that masking is not necessary for students and coaches participating in the sports or activity, as long as those individuals are fully vaccinated or participating in pooled testing.

The only exception to this is wrestling, as new state guidelines require all wrestling participants to be fully vaccinated.

Nolan said he was bringing this policy before the board for approval because any decision will likely be unpopular with some, and people would bring their complaints to the board.

The rest of the guidelines were developed by the Mid-Coast Superintendents and finalized on Oct. 28. The board accepted those guidelines as well.

The guidelines allow individual districts to determine the masking requirements for those participating in the sport or activity, but require all others, including spectators, to wear masks while indoors.

During the discussion on the policy, School Board member Jeanette Wheeler of Waldoboro voiced her disapproval of the mask mandate happening in the district, as well as the potential mask mandate for the spectators and participants.

Wheeler said wearing masks has caused her to have heart palpitations and headaches at previous board meetings.

She said the masks are cutting off the students’ oxygen and increasing their carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide.

She told the board she did not understand how anyone could say these cloth masks are effective at stopping COVID-19.

Wheeler also said the vaccines were causing illness in some. “These vaccines are very dangerous,” she said.

The next board of directors meeting is Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.

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