COVID-19

Updated: January 14, 2022  

We encourage families to stay vigilant in monitoring for any signs of illness and to not send your children to program if they are sick. Masks will be won anytime when physical distancing is not possible and at drop-off and pick-up. Our staff will find creative ways to provide mask breaks when appropriate during the program day. This is for the health and safety of our participants, our staff and our program elders.

Like nearly every local business, we are short on staff, despite a focus on hiring. Due to the nature of our work, should staffing levels drop below our committed staff to participant ratio, we may have a need to cancel a program date. We will do our very best to communicate with families as early as possible, should this situation occur.

Thank you for understanding!
The White Pine Leadership Team

Our Approach

When making decisions in regards to our COVID-19 protocols, we take several other data points into account. 
  • We serve approximately 400 families per week.
  • Program families hail from over 30 communities across three states.
  • Masking and distancing protocols vary widely from one town to another.
  • We have families in our community with significant and difficult health challenges who are at high risk of dangerous, potentially fatal, complications if exposed to COVID-19.
Importantly, we considered how important human contact is in the work that we do. Observing the wings of a butterfly under a magnifying glass, teaming up to build a debris shelter, huddling beneath a tarp on a rainy day or comforting a child missing their parent or guardian — these are all essential elements of our programs and happen in close physical proximity. The decisions we make about COVID protocols affect hundreds of families and the collective health of that community weighs heavily for us. After consulting local community health experts, at this time, we have made the decision to make masks optional for staff and participants when outside and distanced more than 3 feet apart.  However:
  • Every participant will be required to wear a mask during program check-in and departure (due to the close contact of getting children in and out of vehicles) and when indoors or in a shelter (tarp, debris, etc.). 
  • Every participant will be required to have a mask with them at all times.
  • Masks may be requested to be worn if participants exhibit signs of respiratory illness.
These protocols align with the policies of our local school department (in York, Maine), which is required to follow State CDC, National CDC and Maine DOE guidance. Like the school district, our guidelines will be reviewed weekly and, at any time, could change to include universal masking or other precautionary measures.  All Staff will be required to follow all local, state, and CDC guidelines; this includes quarantine, inoculation and travel guidelines. Program adaptations within this document are based on the latest Maine CDC Guidelines for Child Care Providers and Schools. Our detailed COVID-19 guidelines, including information on pooled testing and close contacts, are available here. Note: All decisions regarding attendance at programs for staff and participants are at the discretion of White Pine Programs. Thank you for supporting White Pine Programs during this crazy time. We are working hard to meet the needs of all participants, their families and our greater communities at large.