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Coronavirus Update

Update #6  (Monday 17 February) 

Dear Parents and Caregivers

On Saturday 15 February, there was an  announcement from the Minister of Health to extend the temporary travel restrictions on people travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China for a further 8 days until 24 February. 

 

An update on the status of Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found on the Ministry of Health website:

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) information – Ministry of Health

There is also information on the Ministry of Education website, click here for the link

A translation can be found by clicking here (information in Chinese).

Update #5  (Monday 10 February) 

Dear Parents and Caregivers 

Changes to self-isolation. 

This Coronavirus update from the Ministry of Education on 7 February explains requirements of self isolation for students. Please take note of this information as it has changed from previous updates. 

Who needs to stay away? 

  • New border measures deny entry to New Zealand for anyone who has left or transited through mainland China after midnight on 2 February 2020, with the exception of:
    • New Zealand citizens (including those from the three Countries of the Realm: Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands), permanent residents and their immediate family  
  • If you have been in close contact with a confirmed novel coronavirus case you should self-isolate for 14 days. If you develop symptoms including fever, coughing and difficulty breathing you should ring Healthline (for free) on 0800 611 116 or your doctor.
  • As of 2 February 2020, all travellers arriving in New Zealand out of mainland China should self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time they leave mainland China.
  • People who departed from mainland China before midnight 2 February are not required to self-isolate unless they have been in Wuhan City or Hubei Province in the last 14 days. 

A key point is that the 14 day stay away period starts from when you leave China (or Wuhan City/Hubei Province) and not when you are due to start back at school (eg, you may have travelled to another country before arriving here).
 
Stay away 14 day – guidance
The Ministry of Health has also updated their guidance for those that are being asked to stay away (Health use the words “self-isolation”). It has been updated to remove any confusion about what is required for those staying away. 

Health information 

A link to the Ministry of Health where you can check for more information, can be found by clicking here.

Leaflets -What you need to know 

Leaflets for the public about the Novel coronavirus in English and Simplified Chinese are included for your reference.  (Click on ‘English” or ‘Simplified Chinese’ to see these leaflets).

 

Update #4  (Wednesday 5 February) 

Dear Parents and Caregivers 

While there are no confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus in New Zealand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade have updated their travel advisory and now recommend that New Zealanders do not travel to any part of mainland China.

In order to reduce the chances of 2019-nCoV spreading within NZ, additional border measures have been implemented from 2 February 2020.

These measures deny entry to NZ for anyone who has left or transited through mainland China from 2 February 2020, with the exception of:

  • NZ citizens (including those from the three Countries of the Realm: Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands), permanent residents and their immediate family
  • Air crews who have been using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

This also applies to passengers who are transiting through NZ, unless they are NZ citizens, permanent residents or their immediate families.

The NZ Ministry of Health are specifically considering the situation for Pacific Island nationals returning from mainland China via Auckland Airport.

As of 2 February 2020, all travellers arriving in NZ out of mainland China, or any travelers who have had exposure to a confirmed case of novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) will be expected to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time they leave mainland China or were exposed to novel Coronavirus.

Travellers who arrived in NZ or transited from mainland China before 2nd February must also self-isolate for 2 weeks.

 

How does this impact on our family and our child’s enrolment?  FOLLOW THIS FLOWCHART STEPS 1 TO 3

Step 1 – Did you travel to China and return after January 26th 2020?

Yes              No  –  go to Step 2

  ↓

PLEASE SELF ISOLATE FOR 14 DAYS UPON RETURN, CONTACT HEALTHLINE ON 0800 611 116

 

Step 2 – Do you intend travelling to China?

Yes              No  –  go to Step 3

  ↓

PLEASE SELF ISOLATE ON RETURN FOR 14 DAYS, CONTACT HEALTHLINE ON 0800 611 116

 

Step 3 – Have you been exposed to anyone who has a confirmed suspected case of Coronavirus?

Yes              No  –  no further precautions required

  ↓

PLEASE SELF ISOLATE FOR 14 DAYS, CONTACT HEALTHLINE ON 0800 611 116

 

What else do I need to know?

How worried should I be?

  • Your chances of catching the Coronavirus in NZ are very low.
  • It is highly unlikely you will catch the virus
    • Walking down the street,
    • In a supermarket or
    • On public transport.
  • Coronavirus is slightly more infectious than the flu – you are only likely to catch it if you are close to someone with the virus. Most people catch the virus from someone at home, a close workmate or someone they spend time with.

How serious is Coronavirus?

  • People are being infected, mainly in China, but only a very small number have died.
  • Most people have a mild illness.
  • People of all ages are being infected, but older people and those with medical conditions seem most likely to get seriously ill.

How do I protect myself and my family?

Everyone should protect themselves from the virus, as you would for the flu –

  • Washing your hands regularly, or using hand sanitizer, is the best way to avoid this illness.
  • As with other illnesses, do not go to work or school if you are sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or clothing, and wash hands afterwards.
  • Avoid being close to people who are sick.
  • Wear a mask only if you are coughing and sneezing.
  • Washing your hands often and covering coughs and sneezes will do more to protect you from the virus than a mask.
  • If you are sharing food, use utensils to serve the food and keep your personal spoon, fork, or chopsticks separate to avoid transmission through saliva.

 

Where can I find more information?

Information is updated on the Ministry of Health website or call HEALTHLINE 0800 611 116.

 

Coronavirus Update #3  (Tuesday 28 January) 

Dear Parents and Caregivers 

As you are aware the situation regarding Coronavirus is rapidly evolving. The health and well being of all students and staff is a priority and the school has taken the following steps: 
– kept parents informed via School Apps
 – briefed staff at planning days this week 
– purchased hand sanitiser for each class 
– purchased masks for front office and sick bay staff 
– requested that families forward to the school details of recent travel  to areas in the world where the virus is present. 
– contacted families of students who have advised us of recent travel to affected areas 
– request students do not come to school until they  have been back in New Zealand for a period of two weeks (14 days) from arrival date and they exhibit no symptoms (symptoms include – fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Quite similar to a range of other illnesses such as influenza). 

As always anyone who is unwell should not be at school. If you have any concerns about the possibility of the virus call the Healthline at 0800 611 116 or your GP for medical advice. The Healthline has translators and interpreters available day and night in 150 languages.

Remember: To advise the school if you have travelled to an area of the world where the virus is now present. If you landed in New Zealand on or after 15 January 2020, we are asking that you do NOT come to school for a period of two weeks. The exception to this is if your child has written clearance from a GP. 

Ministry of Health information can be found here:

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov