19 Mar COVID-19 Information for Parents About Self Isolation
In the light of the Prime Minister’s announcement on Wednesday 18 March we will see a lot more people self-isolating. This will help stop the spread of Covid-19 and will keep us all safer.
For this reason, I have summarised some of the key points. We do need parents to be proactive around the new wider self-isolation recommendations and keeping children home if they are showing any signs of sickness.
Who should self-isolate?
If you have arrived in New Zealand from anywhere overseas during the last 2 weeks you should self-isolate for 14 days (or for the remainder of the 14 days).
Voluntary registration is available at https://healthy.org.nz/register.
If you have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19 you will need to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of contact.
If you are self-isolating and other people live with you, you should minimise close contact with them by avoiding situations where you have face-to-face contact closer than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes. The other household residents do not need to self-isolate provided these precautions are followed.
A student who is in a home where someone with no symptoms is in self-isolation, does not need to self-isolate. They can/should come to school.
A student is in a home where someone else is in self-isolation and that person gets sick, then the student should self-isolate until the person has seen a doctor and if necessary been tested for the virus.
Self-isolation is an effective precautionary measure to protect those around you – your family, friends, colleagues – from contracting COVID-19. It means taking simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible, like you would with the seasonal flu virus.
As much as possible, you should limit your contact with people. You should avoid having visitors to your home.
You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, pillows or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water, place them in the dishwasher for cleaning or wash them in your washing machine.
If you become unwell while self-isolating
Contact Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453 if you begin to feel unwell. The symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
Other members of the household should self-isolate until the person has been seen by a doctor and tested if needed
If you need to call emergency services, please let them know you are in self-isolation.
From the Ministry of Education
Schools remain open
At this stage, we are not expecting widespread school closures. We are planning for temporary closures, like what is happening at Logan Park School but as the World Health Organisation has confirmed, the risk to children remains low and parents should continue to send their kids to schools and early learning centres.
Consequently any decisions about school closures will be made on a case by case basis. In the meantime, unless students are unwell themselves, then parents should keep sending them to schools and early learning centres as these environments continue to be safe and the best place for them to continue their learning.
Talking to children and young people about COVID-19
Given the rise in the number of reported cases, there may be children or young people in your life who experience distress. As a trusted adult, you can help reassure and educate them about COVID-19 – it can be good to talk to them now, so they can understand the illness and be reassured.
A useful resource for parents, caregivers, whānau and teachers talking about the virus with children and young people can be found here
Up-to-date information and advice
A reminder that information and advice for students, whānau and the education sector is available here
While the website is being regularly updated with education-related content, the Ministry of Health is the Government agency leading the response to COVID-19