Kia ora e te Whānau o Te Kura a Rohe o Whaingaroa
Everyone has become more aware of the impact that Covid-19, and in particular, the Omicron strain, is having as it moves into our Whaingaroa community. We are doing all that we can to safely keep our school open and it is pleasing to see our staff and students working collaboratively to support this goal. This newsletter is being shared with you all to give you further information to help you to understand how to respond to notifications of Contacts or Cases messages.
Who do I need to contact and should I keep my child at home?
This flowchart has been designed to help our families understand what is required. For any queries, please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org or ring the school office 07 8258140.
Explaining Covid-19 Contacts (Phase 2)
What is the difference between a positive case, Household/Whānau of a positive case and a close contact?
- Household/Whānau – People who live in your house with you
- Positive Cases – Someone who has tested positive for COVID 19
- Close Contact – Someone who has had contact with a person with COVID 19 when infectious
COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
In light of recent positive cases of Covid-19 in Raglan, this information is to support our families with any Covid-19 queries, and what you need to do. In advance, we know that this will end up in disruptions to your lives and work, and thank you for your understanding and support. Please note that we are not the “health experts”, but do know that the Ministry of Health may be delayed in providing advice/guidance to you. Please also note that this information is subject to change, based on any updated guidelines from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health.
Who do we advise if my child tests positive for Covid-19?
Please contact the Principal, Louisa Barham, as soon as possible after you have been informed of a positive test result; by email email@example.com or phone the school at 07 8258140
What actions does the school take when there is a positive case?
We follow a response plan based on guidance from the Ministry of Education. This involves:
- Seeking confirmation of the positive case, and when the infectious period was
- If this was on a school day, we then work through contact tracing
- We will advise classes that are close contacts, via text/email initially, and then a follow-up phone call.
- If this occurs during a school day, we will request that you come and collect your child as soon as you are able to. Arrive at the main office, and we will bring your child(ren) out to you safely.
- The rest of the school advised of the case and becomes casual contacts
How do we work out who is a Close Contact?
There is detailed guidance around this and a range of criteria. Without going into detail, because our students spend a long time in the same classroom, this then fits the criteria for being a Close Contact if they are unmasked.
My child is a close contact. What does this mean?
- This means your child has had contact with a positive case at our school.
- They will need to isolate for 7 days and be tested on day 5 (Note – the 7 days start from the date that they were in contact with a positive case at school. Because of the time lag between the confirmed case/test results, this may mean that your child only needs to remain home for a smaller number of days).
- The day 5 test is likely when you would receive the notification of being a close contact.
- We will advise you further regarding testing and isolation dates.
Do I need to provide anything before my child is able to return to school?
For positive Covid cases or close contacts, we would like to see the last negative test result. Note: if your family chooses not to get the Covid test done, then the period of isolation will need to be extended.
If my child is a close contact, does the rest of our household need to isolate?
No. But please note: The Covid-19 website says that other household members of close contacts are casual contacts, and also need to isolate for 5 days, but this does not apply to the Waikato/Auckland areas.
A member of our household is a close contact. Can my child still attend school?
Yes, as above. Your child is able to attend school.
My child is NOT a close contact. What do I need to do?
Most importantly, your child is still able to attend school.
- You and your whānau should watch for symptoms.
- If any symptoms develop, get tested immediately.
- Then, stay at home until you receive the result
- Please keep an eye out for school communications.
- If your whānau hasn’t been vaccinated, please consider doing so as soon as possible.
My child has tested positive for Covid-19. What does this mean?
This will mean that your child will need to isolate and not come to school for a minimum period of 10 days. All family members will be close contacts and also need to isolate. Refer to the Ministry of Health website for more detailed guidance.
A member of our household has tested positive. What does this mean?
This will mean that your child is a close contact and also needs to isolate. Refer to the Ministry of Health website for more detailed guidance.
My child is feeling unwell (e.g. cough, headache, sore throat, etc) Can I still send them to school?
Because these are all symptoms of Covid-19, please do not send your child to school. While these may be the normal bugs and sniffles that occur, we encourage you to get your child tested.
Is it safe to send my child to school?
Our processes involve working through a detailed contact tracing assessment. If your child is not a close contact, then school is still open for them and we encourage you to send them to school as much as you can. As you know, our students have missed a lot of teaching and learning over the past 2 years, and we really want to see them at school as much as possible. Our school health and safety plan for Red does contain a large number of protections.
What is the school doing to keep my child safe?
- All staff, volunteers, contractors on site are vaccinated.
- We are ventilating all our rooms.
- Staff and students in Year 5 and above are wearing masks.
- Mask wearing in Y0-4 is encouraged and supported.
- We are minimising contact between large groups of students.
My child is anxious or scared. What advice do you have?
Our onsite team is working hard to make school fun, safe, and a place of learning. We encourage you to focus on the things that they can do to help; mask-wearing, washing hands, getting a test (if required).
This website has some useful tips – https://www.kidshealth.org.nz
My child needs to isolate at home. What support will the school provide around teaching and learning?
Our support and response will also depend on whether class teachers are also isolating at home. If our teachers are also isolated but remain well, they will be in touch to offer our remote learning support (virtual connections, activities, etc). The Kura Teina (Years 0-6) and Kura Tuakana (Years 7-13) platforms are being updated and will become accessible soon. The following portals are open now and will be updated as we receive further information.
Stay safe. Stay well. Stay connected.