20 Mar COVID-19 Update – 20th March
As parents and whanau are aware, the situation regarding Covid-19 is changing fast. The most recent announcements from the Government are significant.
The tightening of restrictions on gatherings makes our review of school events simpler, now that we cannot have gatherings of more than 100 people.
- The school Ball is cancelled. However, we will work with senior students to change the annual Leaver’s Dinner to make it a bigger event. We have booked a larger venue for this.
- The school production of Seussical is cancelled. We will do it next year.
- School socials are cancelled.
School Sport is all on hold, we are working with sporting bodies and the Ministry of Health guidelines to provide guidance on what individual training students should be doing.
We have implemented the self-isolation recommendations; anyone arriving from overseas must go into self-isolation for 14 days. While this is not a requirement, we want to be proactive and support the Prime Minister’s recommendation.
We would ask that parents support us in this, and in ensuring that any student who is sick (cold, flu, etc) stays home. We all have an important role to play in stopping the virus and protecting the vulnerable in our community.
I would like to draw your attention to my e-mail yesterday about self-isolation. We are being very proactive, but I do need to reassure parents that we have not had any staff or students who have been in contact with anyone who has had the virus. All of the people who are self-isolating (staff and students) are simply being cautious and proactively protecting our community.
I can assure parents and whanau that if there is a case linked to the school community the Ministry of Health will be in contact with me immediately. They will implement a very clear plan:
- As soon as a case is confirmed in our immediate school community (e.g. a student, staff member, or member of their household), the Medical Officer of Health and Ministry of Education will inform me about this, and we will work together to get quick and clear messaging out to you.
- If there is a case confirmed of someone in our school, we will likely be asked to close temporarily by the Medical Officer of Health. This will allow time for close contacts to be traced, appropriate testing to be undertaken, and a careful clean of the school to be carried out.
- If our school does need to close temporarily, we have are confident that student learning will continue, with students accessing their learning through their Google classroom sites. We also have a plan in place to support students who do not have their own device or internet access at home. (It is interesting to read in the media that the Government is considering helping on this front as well).
We know COVID-19 feels scary and of course people are concerned for the wellbeing of our children. Please be assured that with no case confirmed in our school, your children are safe here.
Good hygiene is a priority at our school, and we are reinforcing this regularly with all students and staff. We know that practicing good hygiene is still the best thing we can all do to prevent illness.
We are getting the most up to date advice and guidance so that we can confidently make informed decisions about the safety and wellbeing of our school community.
A useful message from the Ministry of Education
When is sick, sick?
The messaging remains clear – that if you are feeling unwell please stay home, and the same goes for children and young people. However at the tail end of a cold, there will be runny noses and probably some coughing. This might be worrying for some people who are being vigilant about their own and others’ health.
The diagram above has been developed by Dr Siouxsie Wiles to assist you when considering symptoms (sent to us by a teacher who found it useful). What it tells us is:
- A dry cough and a high temperature are common to both flu and COVID-19.
- Sneezing is not a symptom of COVID-19. However, if someone has COVID-19, then sneezing can spread droplets containing the virus.