COVID Phase 3 - email to parents 10 March


Kia ora koutou

Although I only sent an email to you a couple of days ago, I want to keep you up-to-date with the situation with COVID in our school. This is a long email as I have included the most recent information on the new 7-day isolation period as provided by the Ministry of Education last night. 

This email addresses two key areas:

   1.   Changes to our hybrid teaching model for next week

   2.   Changes to isolation requirements 

 

1. CHANGES TO OUR HYBRID TEACHING MODEL

As the week has progressed, we continue to have teachers absent, either testing positive, as a household contact or catching what is probably the flu – feels like it could be COVID but it tests negative. The number of students away remains high, although the number confirmed as positive has dropped somewhat – possibly we aren’t being informed of these. We are now at the point where we need to look at implementing further actions, as signalled in my last email, as follows:

There will be some changes in the Year levels who will be learning at home next week – Monday 14 March - Friday 18 March

On Monday 14 March and Tuesday 15 March:

  • Years 10, 11 AND 13 will be learning at home
  • Years 9 and 12 will be in school

 On Wednesday 16, Thursday 17, and Friday 18 March:

  • Years 10, 11 AND 12 will be learning at home
  • Years 9 and 13 will be in school.

We have made this change to ensure that, even though we have teacher shortages, we will be able to connect with both the Year 12 and Year 13 students face-to-face next week, check on their learning and understanding, and ensure they are on track with the work set. 


2.   CHANGES TO ISOLATION REQUIREMENTS

From 11:59pm tonight Friday 11 March isolation requirements for positive cases of COVID-19 and their household contacts will be reduced from 10 to seven days. All cases and household contacts who are currently isolating can end their period of isolation after Day 7. Those currently in isolation will not have to complete their Days 8, 9 and 10 of isolation.

Cases of COVID-19

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for seven days.
Day 0 is the day symptoms began or the day the test was taken (whichever came first). Cases will isolate for a full seven days and are free to return to normal activities on Day 8, if they are not symptomatic, but they should not return to school if they are still feeling unwell.
 

Household contacts  

Household contacts are required to isolate for the same seven days as the case.

They can return to their normal activities on the same day as the first case in their household, so long as all test results have been negative, and they are not symptomatic.

Household contacts should continue to self-monitor for symptoms up to Day 10.

Household contacts will be required to take a self-administered rapid antigen test (RAT) on Day 3 and Day 7 of the case’s isolation period.


If symptoms develop at any time during isolation:

- the usual advice remains in place to undertake an additional RAT

- if the test is negative and symptoms persist or worsen, test again 48 hours after that negative test

- if symptoms resolve there is no need for a further test until the required Day 7 test. If this test is negative, they can return to daily life on Day 8.


If a household contact has new symptoms on the day of release:

 - they should undertake an additional RAT and stay at home while unwell

 - if that test is negative and symptoms persist or worsen, test again after 48 hours. If symptoms resolve, there is no need for a further test. 

If a household contact has finished their period of isolation they do not need to return to isolation if a new case is identified in their household. However, this only applies for a period of seven days following their leaving isolation. Should a new household member be confirmed as a case eight or more days after the household contact has left isolation, then they must start a new period of self-isolation for seven days.

 

Advice for anyone who is unwell 

 - Anyone who is sick should stay home until they are well.

 - When a child has respiratory symptoms, they should stay at home and seek advice from their GP or Healthline. Staying home is key to controlling the spread of any virus in a school setting.  

 - Many children will have a long-lasting runny nose or cough after viral infections. If it is over 10 days since the onset of COVID symptoms and they are no longer feeling unwell, they are very unlikely to be infectious and can therefore return to school.

 - However, if they are continuing to feel unwell or their symptoms are worsening after 10 days, they should not return to school and a GP review, or a call to Healthline, is recommended.

 

Finally, please remember to contact the school Office if your child has a positive COVID test, or is a household contact and therefore isolating (email [email protected], phone 04 527 8749)

Thank you for support, and your understanding as we continue to work through this situation. 


Ngā mihi nui


Judith Taylor
 Principal