The Ministry of Education wanted to provide further guidance to support your response to COVID-19. The situation is rapidly evolving. It is important to note we continue to have no confirmed cases in schools or early learning services.  

The most likely scenario is if a student or staff member is confirmed with COVID-19, the Ministry of Health  may require a school to close for a day or two, to undertake tracking and tracing of close contacts. A reminder that a close contact is generally described as someone who was in near proximity (1.5 metres) of a person confirmed with the virus for 15 or more minutes. For those with compromised immunity that is 2 metres.  The MInistry of Education is talking with all schools to work through the support that may be needed.

Camps, assemblies and other events

You will know that health and safety is paramount when providing opportunities for positive experiences for your children and young people. Continue to look for ways in:

  • encouraging good hygiene at all times – hand washing, coughing etiquette etc
  • reducing the number of assemblies
  • thinking about current practices – handshakes, hongi etc –  as noted by the Prime Minister we need to stop these practices

For our school, our Pandemic Plan is ready to be implemented if needed. In the meantime we will continue to focus on good hygiene practices. Hand washing and good cough etiquette are very important tools in preventing the spread of illness including colds, flu and COVID-19. With that, there is a good video clip from Nanogirl that will help your children to better understand the virus – YouTube clip – Nanogirl

One other action we can all take is to be vigilant about our own health and the health of our children. I will be encouraging my staff to stay away from school if they are showing signs of illness such as coughs and colds. I ask that you please do the same with your children. Colds and flus are common in schools and by staying away, seeking medical attention and practicing good hygiene, we can all keep any spread of illness to a minimum.


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